Background and Objective: Fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG) is a method for recording fetal brain signals, fetal and maternal heart activity simultaneously. The identification of the R-peaks of the heartbeats forms the basis for later heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) analysis. The current procedure for the evaluation of fetal magnetocardiograms (fMCG) is either semi-automated evaluation using template matching (SATM) or Hilbert transformation algorithm (HTA). However, none of the methods available at present works reliable for all datasets.
Methods: Our aim was to develop a unitary, responsive and fully automated R-peak detection algorithm (FLORA) that combines and enhances both of the methods used up to now.
Results: The evaluation of all methods on 55 datasets verifies that FLORA outperforms both of these methods as well as a combination of the two, which applies in particular to data of fetuses at earlier gestational age.
Conclusion: The combined analysis shows that FLORA is capable of providing good, stable and reproducible results without manual intervention.