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Comparison Between Users of a New Methodology for Heart Sound Auscultation

Castro, A. C. ; Gomes, P. ; Mattos, S. S. ; Coimbra, M.

Comparison Between Users of a New Methodology for Heart Sound Auscultation, Proc International Conf. of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society - EMBC, Orlando, United States, Vol. -, pp. - - -, August, 2016.

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Auscultation is a routine exam and the first line of screening in heart pathologies. The objective of this study was to assess if using a new data collection system, the DigiScope Collector, with a guided and automatic annotation of heart auscultation, different levels of expertise/experience users could collect similar digital auscultations.
Data were collected within the Heart Caravan Initiative (Paraíba, Brasil). Patients were divided into two study groups: Group 1 evaluated by a third year medical student (User 1), and an experienced nurse (User 2); Group 2 evaluated by User 2 and an Information Technology professional (User 3). Patients were auscultated sequentially by the two users, according to the randomization. Features extracted from each data set included the length (HR) of the
audio files, the number of repetitions per auscultation area, heart rate , first (S1) and second (S2) heart sound amplitudes, S2/S1, and aortic (A2) and pulmonary (P2) components of the second heart sound and relative amplitudes (P2/A2). Features extracted were compared between users using paired-sample test Wilcoxon test, and Spearman correlations (P<0.05 considered significant). Twenty-seven patients were included in the study (13 Group 1, and 14 Group 2). No statistical significant differences were found between groups, except in the time of auscultation (User 2 consistently presented longer auscultation time). Correlation analysis showed significant correlations between extracted features from both groups: S2/S1 in Group 1, and S1, S2, A2, P2, P2/A2 amplitudes, and HR in Group 2.
Using the DigiScope Collector, we were able to collect similar digital auscultations, according to the features evaluated. This may indicate that in sites with limited access to specialized clinical care, auscultation files may be acquired and used in telemedicine for an expert evaluation.