Real-time ventricular fibrillation detection using an embedded microcontroller in a pervasive environment

Sundeok Kwon, Jungyoon Kim, Chao Hsien Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Many healthcare problems are life threatening and need real-time detection to improve patient safety. Heart attack or ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a common problem worldwide. Most previous research on VF detection has used ECG devices to capture data and sent to other higher performance units for processing and has relied on domain experts and/or sophisticated algorithms for detection. In this case, it delayed the response time and consumed much more energy of the ECG module. In this study, we propose a prototype that an embedded microcontroller where an ECG sensor is used to capture, filter and process data, run VF detection algorithms, and only transmit the detected event to the smartphone for alert and call for services. We discuss how to adapt a common filtering and scale process and five light-weighted algorithms from open literature to realize the idea. We also develop an integrated prototype, which emulates the VF process from existing data sets, to evaluate the detection capability of the framework and algorithms. Our results show that (1) TD outperforms the other four algorithms considered with sensitivity reaching 96.56% and specificity reaching 81.53% in the MIT-BIH dataset. Our evaluations confirm that with some adaptation the conventional filtering process and detection algorithms can be efficiently deployed in a microcontroller with good detection accuracy while saving battery power, shortening response time, and conserving the network bandwidth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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