Noise Rejection for Wearable ECGs Using Modified Frequency Slice Wavelet Transform and Convolutional Neural Networks

Zhongyao Zhao, Chengyu Liu*, Yaowei Li, Yixuan Li, Jingyu Wang, Bor-Shyh Lin, Jianqing Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Progress in wearable techniques makes the long-term daily electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring possible. However, the long-term wearable ECGs can be significantly contaminated by various noises, which affect the detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The situation becomes more serious for wearable ECG screening, where the data are huge, and doctors have no way to visually check the signal quality episode-by-episode. Therefore, automatic and accurate noise rejection for the wearable big-data ECGs is craving. This paper addressed this issue and proposed a noise rejection method for wearable ECGs based on the combination of modified frequency slice wavelet transform (MFSWT) and convolutional neural network (CNN). Wearable ECGs were recorded using the newly developed 12-lead Lenovo smart ECG vest with a sample rate of 500 Hz and a resolution of 16 bit. One thousand 10-s ECG segments were picked up and were manually labeled into three quality types: clinically useful segments with good signal quality (type A), clinically useful segments with poor signal quality (type B), and clinically useless segments (pure noises, type C). Each of the 1,000 10-s ECG segments were transformed into a 2-D time-frequency (T-F) image using the MFSWT, with a pixel size of 200 × 50. Then, the 2-D grayscale images from MFSWT were fed into a 13-layer CNN model for training the classification models. Results from the standard 5-folder cross-validation showed that the proposed combination method of MFSWT and CNN achieved a highest classification accuracy of 86.3%, which was higher than the comparable methods from continuous wavelet transform (CWT) and artificial neural networks (ANN). The combination of MFSWT and CNN also had a good calculation efficiency. This paper indicated that the combination of MFSWT and CNN is a potential method for automatic identification of noisy segments from wearable ECG recordings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8648375
Pages (from-to)34060-34067
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Access
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2019


  • Wearable ECG
  • convolutional neural network (CNN)
  • modified frequency slice wavelet transform (MFSWT)
  • signal quality assessment (SQA)


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