Chapter 6

Compression of Physiological Signals

6.1. Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to provide the reader with a general overview of the compression of physiological signals. The specificities of these signals have been covered in Chapter 3; whereas, in this chapter, the EEG compression is discussed and special attention will be given to the ECG signal. This is explained by the fact that the ECG is somehow, more concerned with compression, especially when used for monitoring purposes. Moreover, a huge number of research publications are dedicated to the compression of this type of signal. In fact, some specific and various requirements, i.e. transmission by Internet, wireless transmission, long-term storage on Holter monitors (i.e. for 24 hours or more), make the compression of the ECG an important tool.

For the reasons outlined above, this chapter is organized as follows: in section 6.2, the main standards used for coding the physiological signals are presented. Section 6.3 is dedicated to EEG compression, while in section 6.4, various ECG compression techniques are described.

6.2. Standards for coding physiological signals

Unlike the DICOM standard, devoted to medical images, as discussed in Chapter 4, it is important to specify that an exclusive norm or standard does not exist for coding physiological signals. In other words, the few available norms are not systematically accepted by both the European and American communities. Nevertheless, it seems to us to be essential ...

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