A valuable alternative to traditional diagnostic tools, such as ultrasonographic cardiotocography, to monitor general foetal well-being by means of foetal heart rate analysis is foetal phonocardiography, a passive and low cost recording of foetal heart sounds. In this paper, it is presented a simulator software of foetal phonocardiographic signals relative to different foetal states and recording conditions (for example different kinds and levels of noise). Before developing the software, a data collection pilot study was conducted with the purpose of specifically identifying the characteristics of the waveforms of the foetal and maternal heart sounds, since the available literature is not rigorous in this area. The developed software, due to the possibility to simulate different physiological and pathological foetal conditions and recording situations simply modifying some system parameters, can be useful as a teaching tool for demonstration to medical students and others and also for testing and assessment of foetal heart rate extraction algorithms from foetal phonocardiographic (fPCG) recordings. On this purpose, the simulator software was used to test an algorithm developed by the authors for foetal heart rate extraction considering different foetal heart rate parameters and signal to noise ratio values. Our tests demonstrated that simulated fPCG signals are very close to real fPCG recordings.
- Foetal heart sounds
- Foetal phonocardiography simulation
- Signal processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Health Informatics