Real-time multichannel abdominal fetal ECG monitor using Digital Signal CoProcessor

Nahum Budin*, Shimon Abboud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A real-time multichannel fetal ECG monitor based on a personal computer (PC) and a MOTOROLA DSP56001 Digital Signal CoProcessor (DSP) is introduced. The DSP board is plugged into the PC, which functions as a HOST computer. An analog 8 Leads Interface and Analog to Digital circuits module is connected to the DSP through a synchronous, opticalisolated communication channel. The fetal ECG detection is based on a cross-correlation technique. An averaged maternal ECG waveform is generated using a cross-correlation alignment procedure and a user-defined template. The fetal ECG signals present in the maternal waveform is suppressed during the averaging procedure, since both are uncorrelated. The average maternal ECG waveform is then subtracted from the abdominal real time signals, and maternal-free fetal ECGs signals are obtained, including fetal QRS complexes that coincide with maternal ones. Using the abdominal ECGs signals after subtraction, an averaged fetal waveform is generated. The maternal and the fetal heart rate are calculated during the process. The algorithm described above can be performed in real time on up to eight abdominal ECG traces by the DSP, and the desired results are passed to the HOST PC, to be stored and displayed. Electrodes positioning procedures for detecting the fetal QRS complexes with the best signal to noise ratio are not needed. Using the multichannel system, the user can select the best channel for fetal QRS detection, and accurate results for the heart rate signal are obtained. Averaged fetal waveforms are obtained from all the leads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1994


  • Abdominal ECG
  • Fetal monitoring
  • Heart rate
  • Signal averaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Real-time multichannel abdominal fetal ECG monitor using Digital Signal CoProcessor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this