The ECG signal is abruptly changing and
continuous in nature. The heart disease such as paroxysmal of
heart, arrhythmia diagnosing, are related with the intelligent
health care decision this ECG signal need to be pre-process
accurately for further action on it such as extracting the
features, wavelet decomposition, distribution of QRS
complexes in ECG recordings and related information such as
heart rate and RR interval, classification of the signal by
using various classifiers etc. Filters plays very important role
in analyzing the low frequency components in ECG signal.
The biomedical signals are of low frequency, the removal of
power line interference and baseline wander is a very
important step at the pre-processing stage of ECG. In these
paper we deal with the study of Median filtering and
FIR(Finite Impulse Response)filtering of ECG signals under
noisy condition.

© All Rights Reserved

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The ECG signal is abruptly changing and
continuous in nature. The heart disease such as paroxysmal of
heart, arrhythmia diagnosing, are related with the intelligent
health care decision this ECG signal need to be pre-process
accurately for further action on it such as extracting the
features, wavelet decomposition, distribution of QRS
complexes in ECG recordings and related information such as
heart rate and RR interval, classification of the signal by
using various classifiers etc. Filters plays very important role
in analyzing the low frequency components in ECG signal.
The biomedical signals are of low frequency, the removal of
power line interference and baseline wander is a very
important step at the pre-processing stage of ECG. In these
paper we deal with the study of Median filtering and
FIR(Finite Impulse Response)filtering of ECG signals under
noisy condition.

© All Rights Reserved

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Pre-processing of ECG Signals Using Filters

Isha V Upganlawar, Harshal Chowhan

Student, M.tech. Computer Science & Engineering

Department, Wainganga College Of Engineering &

Technology Dongergaon, Nagpur. Maharashtra

AbstractThe ECG signal is abruptly changing and

continuous in nature. The heart disease such as paroxysmal of

heart, arrhythmia diagnosing, are related with the intelligent

health care decision this ECG signal need to be pre-process

accurately for further action on it such as extracting the

features, wavelet decomposition, distribution of QRS

complexes in ECG recordings and related information such as

heart rate and RR interval, classification of the signal by

using various classifiers etc. Filters plays very important role

in analyzing the low frequency components in ECG signal.

The biomedical signals are of low frequency, the removal of

power line interference and baseline wander is a very

important step at the pre-processing stage of ECG. In these

paper we deal with the study of Median filtering and

FIR(Finite Impulse Response)filtering of ECG signals under

noisy condition.

Keywords ECG, FIR filter, Median filter, Pre-processing

I. INTRODUCTION

Electrocardiography is a transthoracic interpretation of the

electrical activity of the heart over a period of time, as

detected by electrodes attached to the outer surface of the

skin and recorded by a device external to the body [1].ECG

is used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats ,the

position and size of chambers, the effect of drugs or

devices, the presence of any damage to the heart, and the

effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart, such

as a pacemaker.

Fig.1 shows an ECG Waveformwhich consist of P wave,

QRS complex, T wave And various intervals. Importantly,

the R-R interval represents one heartbeat.

The ECG signal gets corrupted due to different types of

artifacts and interferences such as Electrode contact noise,

Power line interference, Motion artifacts, contraction, Base

line drift, Instrumentation noise generated by electronic

devices and Electrosurgical noise.

Fig.1 ECG Waveform

For accurate detection steps have to be taken to filter all

these noise sources. The base line wandering, a low

frequency fluctuation is due to the rhythmic depolarization

and repolarization during respiration [9]. Hence, FIR and

Median filters are discussed in this paper and how they can

be applied in combination on vital signal of human body

that is ECG for heart care is depicted. Section 2 discusses

Material samples of ECG used for the experiments.FIR and

Median filters are described in section3. Section 4 depicts

how these filters can be applied on ECG signal for pre-

processing and some of the results after applying filters.

Section 5 represents Conclusion.

II. MATERIAL

The ECG signals samples are used to study the different

cases of the patient. these ECG signals are taken from

MIT-BIH database .these ECG signals are easy to analyze

in MATLAB. The number of samples is not enough for a

complete research concerning the effects of age, gender,

weight, etc. Because the purpose of this study focuses only

on the pre-processing of ECG signal, these factors, such as

age, gender, and weight, etc. are not concern factors for

sampling.

III. FILTERS

The Pre-processing of an ECG signal is performed for the

removal of noise associated with the ECG signal. While

acquisition of ECG, it gets corrupted due to different types

of artifacts and interferences such as Power line

interference, Electrode contact noise, Motion artifacts,

Muscle contraction, Base line drift, Instrumentation noise

generated by electronic devices and Electrosurgical noise.

For the meaningful and accurate detection, steps have to be

taken to filter out all these noise sources. In the project, for

noise removal a function of Matlab called smooth() is used.

Z =SMOOTH (Y, SPAN)

This function smooth data Y using SPAN as the number

of points used to compute each element of Z. smooth() uses

the Moving Average filter and FIR (Finite Impulse

Response) Filter for smoothing the ECG signal.

International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) volume 11 number 4 May 2014

ISSN: 2231-2803 http://www.ijcttjournal.org Page167

A. Smoothing via Moving Average Filter

In order to eliminate the effect of high frequency

ripples on the obtained signal, the ECG trace is smoothed

down using a moving average filter which performs local

regression with the weighted linear least square and the 2nd

degree polynomial model. The method assigns lower

weight to outliers in the regression and zero weight to data

outside six mean absolute deviations.

B. FIR Filter

FIR filters are digital filters with finite impulse response.

They are also known as non-recursive digital filters as they

do not have the feedback (a recursive part of a filter), even

though recursive algorithms can be used for FIR filter

realization. FIR filters can be designed using different

methods, but most of them are based on ideal filter

approximation. The objective is not to achieve ideal

characteristics, as it is impossible anyway, but to achieve

sufficiently good characteristics of a filter. The transfer

function of FIR filter approaches the ideal as the filter order

increases, thus increasing the complexity and amount of

time needed for processing input samples of a signal being

filtered.

There are essentially three well-known methods for FIR

filter design namely:

1.The window method

2.The frequency sampling technique

3.Optimal filter design methods

The window method uses following functions and

parameters.

[b, a] =fir1(N, Wn, varargin)

B =FIR1(N, Wn) designs an N'th order lowpass FIR digital

filter and returns the filter coefficients in length N+1 vector

B. The cut-off frequency Wn must be between 0 <Wn <

1.0, with 1.0 corresponding to half the sample rate. The

filter B is real and has linear phase. The normalized gain of

the filter at Wn is -6 dB.

B =FIR1(N,Wn,'high') designs an N'th order highpass

filter. We can also use B =FIR1(N,Wn,'low') to design a

lowpass filter. If Wn is a two -element vector, Wn =[W1

W2], FIR1 returns an order N bandpass filter with passband

W1 <W <W2. We can also specify B =FIR1(N, Wn,

'bandpass'). If Wn =[W1 W2], B =FIR1(N, Wn, 'stop')

will design a bandstop filter. For filters with a gain other

than zero at Fs/2, e.g., highpass and bandstop filters, N

must be even. Otherwise, N will be incremented by one. In

this case the window length should be specified as N+2.

Fig. 2 Original ECG signal.

Fig. 3 Pre-processed ECG signal.

IV. RESULT

An objective of a health process is one where patients can

stay healthy with the support of expert medical advice

when they need it, at any location and any time. An

associated aim would be the development of a system

which places increased emphasis on preventative measures

as a first point of contact with the patient.the ecg signals

are continuous in nature and plays a very vital role in

human body for predicting health status of a human, and so

we are applying the FIR and Median filters for pre-

processing on ECG signal.the original ecg signal is shown

in fig 2, after applying both the filters on fig 2 we get the

pre-processed ECG signal as shown in figure 3.

V. CONCLUSION

In this study our main objective is to demonstrate the

combined effect of moving average filter and FIR filter for

the pre-processing of an ECG signal which is more

significant and very efficient rather than using single filter.

This combination of FIR and moving average f filter in pre-

processing an ECG signal removes not only baseline drift

International Journal of Computer Trends and Technology (IJCTT) volume 11 number 4 May 2014

ISSN: 2231-2803 http://www.ijcttjournal.org Page168

(drift refers to the deviation of the signal fromone state to

another unpredictable state) but also preserves edges while

removing noise. Another motivation for this type of work

to performfor ECG signal because pre-processing is a vital

step for later and better analysis of ECG signal of human

being to take accurate decision regarding heart diseases.

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