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This paper presents an automated real-time atrial fibrillation (AF) detection approach that relies on the observation of two characteristic irregularities of AF episodes in the electrocardiogram (ECG) signal. The results generated after the analysis of these irregularities are subsequently analyzed in real-time using a new fuzzy classifier. We have optimized this novel AF classification framework to require very limited processing, memory storage and energy resources, which makes it able to operate in real-time on a wearable wireless sensor platform. Moreover, our experimental results indicate that the proposed on-line approach shows a similar accuracy to state-of-the-art off-line AF detectors, achieving up to 96% sensitivity and 93% specificity. Finally, we present a detailed energy study of each component of the target wearable wireless sensor platform, while executing the automated AF detection approach in a real operating scenario, in order to evaluate the lifetime of the overall system. This study indicates that the lifetime of the platform is increased by using the proposed method to detect AF in real-time and diagnose the patient with respect to a streaming application that sends the raw signal to a central coordinator (e.g., smartphone or laptop) for its ulterior processing.
Date of Conference: Aug. 28 2012-Sept. 1 2012