Development of 8 channels EKG amplifier

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Gájász Zoltán
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

My task was to improve, fix an eight-channel ECG amplifier and analog-to-digital converter prototype board and write the program, which runs in this module. The prototype's parameters had to be measured and compared to the ECG standards. Also my task was to develop a monitor program, which runs on the PC connected to the prototype board.

The hardware is based on Texas Instruments' ADS1298 integrated circuit for biopotential measuremets, which implements lots of ECG-specific funtions with a few additional external parts. In addition it has better signal-to-noise ratio, power comsumption and (of course) smaller footprint compared to the conventional discrete solutions. Since this board is designed for substituting a discrete design front-end module in an existing ECG, so it has to be hardware and software compatible with that ECG's main processor. The communication and the signal processing is done by the onboard AVR32 core microcontroller. During the development I ran into a harware problem which was present within the ADS1298 integrated circuit and managed to correct it by software.

The other part of my task was to develop the PC monitor program compatible with the prototype board. The application runs under .NET 3.5 framework. The program provides the Fourier-transform of the selected lead's signa above the absolutely necessary features (displaying the signal and its attributes, measing peak-to-peak voltage on selected channel). The Fourier-transform might help in the process of identifying the source of the noise presented on each lead.


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