Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


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

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:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo 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: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Development and Fast Analysis of 3D Printed HF Components

19.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus

19.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>