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The representation of the heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) of an unborn child during gestation and delivery is a detection problem; from signals with very small SNR, information about foetal heart can be extracted. The problem can be narrowed down to the determination of the moment in time between the maternal ECG and interference, in which a foetal R-wave appears. By means of an on-line digital method, where advantage is taken of the almost periodic character of the foetal ECG against the random interference, the certainty about the appearance of a foetal R-wave is statistically enlarged. It is thus possible to determine the foetal heart rate as well as the ECG (both abdominal and intra-uterine) with greater accuracy.
Date of Publication: Oct. 1966