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We present a novel method which provides an observer of the autonomic cardiac outflow using heartbeat intervals (RR) and QT intervals. The model of the observer is inferred from qualitative physiological knowledge. It consists in a problem of blind source separation of noisy mixtures which is resolved by a simple and robust algorithm. The robustness of the algorithm has been assessed by numerical simulations in adverse noisy environments. In clinical applications, we have validated the observer on subjects exposed to experimental conditions known to elicit sympathetic or parasympathetic response.
Date of Publication: May 2000