Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Andalusian Researchers Work In A Software To Study Heart Activity During Sleep

23.05.2008
Human beings are determined to control, change and understand many issues related to health, like the breathing rhythm and cardiac frequency. In order to study it in depth, experts need to have the tools that automatically analyse the data obtained. That’s why diagnosis and therapies can show some light into this.

A group of researchers of the University of Málaga (UMA) have decided to improve one of such tools to apply it, for example, to the influence of the different sleep stages in the cardiac activity.

These researchers of the Applied Physics department of the Telecommunication Engineering Faculty (UMA) collaborated a few years ago in a project of the Institutos Nacionales de la Salud (NIH) of the USA in which they tried to apply a segmentation algorithm of temporary, previously developed by the UMA, to identify the different cardiac activity schemes that follow one another while we sep and try to relate them to the different sleep stages.

The idea behind these experiments was to represent the changes that take place, for example, in the cardiac frequency of healthy and ill people, as well as astronauts, while they were sleeping. The project did not reveal the expected results, probably because the designed computing algorithms were not the most appropriate ones to measure such a complex activity. This research group will now have three years to start to develop a method to face this challenge. The project has been funded with 67,800 euros as part of the order passed by the Andalusian Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise within the project of excellence ramework.

Fractal nature

According to the leading researcher, Dr. Bernaola Galván, the difficulty in finding out the patterns of cardiac activity is the enormous complexity of these data. Contrary to what has been usually thought, in the normal activity estates cardiac rhythm is very variable and this results in series of heterogeneous data at all levels. ‘These patterns have a fractal nature. However, if we isolated just a small part of them, we would observe that it is an identical copy of the same whole’, he explained. For example, we can imagine a tree branch whose sprouts are new branches which, in turn, will come into bud of identical structure ad infinitum.

The value of these algorithms as a diagnosis tool in patients with sleep apnoea, for example, could be very interesting. However, in order to reach that point, scientists would have to solve this complex Rubick’s cube before. ‘The first step will consist of making many numeric simulations, which will result in a large number of artificial fractal sequences with which a computing ‘training’ program will be implemented, Bernaola explained. Researchers hope that, with this ‘training’ the software can automatically find the points where relevant changes in the analysed data series take place.

Previous applications and studies

The research group does not rule out the possibility of studying new scenarios. ‘We would like to apply our techniques to encephalogram series while doing physical activities’, Dr. Bernaola explained. These scientists have not stopped widening their field of study ever since they started their research line in the 1990’s. The segmentation algorithms initially developed by this group were applied to the search for areas of different proportions between nucleotides in DNA sequences; this led them to collaborate with Dr Bernardi, author of the isochors theory, the first attempt to describe the structure of the human genome at a large scale.

Another relevant work carried out by this team consisted of measuring the heart rhythm in patients with cardiac congestive failure, in collaboration with Harvard University hospital. The research revealed that the cardiac activity of healthy people and ill people showed areas with the same variations, provided that they were subjected to the same stimulus. This indicated that both types of people react, or try to react, to stimulus in a similar way. However, the determining factor for this to happen was the extent of such changes, which was much smaller in the case of ill people.

Yet more of their project experience includes the application of their algorithms to study sun radiation in collaboration with the University of Malaga group, led by Dr. Sidrach de Cardona. Among other things, these studies aim to determine whether or not solar energy facilities are profitable, the frequency of sunny days, and how the atmosphere evolves in a particular place, to name but a few.

The research group of the Applied Physics department of the Telecommunication Engineering Faculty (UMA) that will be working in the current project of excellence is made up by five members. However, there will also be a researcher from the University of Boston involved as a result of the many international collaborations of the group.

The beginning of this sort of temporary series analysis dates back to the 1970’s, and although it is still applied to several fields today, it actually developed as a result of the need to control and forecast changes in the coal production in mines, due to the possibility of running out of it.

Ismael Gaona | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uma.es

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
20.10.2017 | Brown University

nachricht New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>