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The main goal of any electrocardiogram (ECG) compression algorithm is to reduce the bit rate while keeping the signal distortion at a clinically acceptable level. Percentage root mean square difference (PRD), the commonly used figure of merit, does not directly reveal whether the clinically significant ECG waveform information is preserved or not. We present the results of a study of ECG compression using an upper bound on the PRD. This bound is based on the initial performance of the algorithm and could be specified by the clinician after correlating the quality of the compressed versions of the ECG and the resulting PRD.