Reconstructing QRS Complex From PPG by Transformed Attentional Neural Networks

Hong-Yu Chiu, Hong-Han Shuai*, Paul C.-P. Chao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technology that translates photoplethysmogram (PPG) into the QRS complex of electrocardiogram (ECG) would be transformative for people who require continuously monitoring. However, directly decoding the QRS complex of ECG from PPG is challenging because PPG signals usually have different offsets due to 1) different devices, and 2) personal differences, which makes the alignment difficult. In this paper, we make the first attempt to reconstruct the QRS complex of ECG only from the recording of PPG by an end-to-end deep learning-based approach. Specifically, we propose a novel encoder-decoder architecture containing three components: 1) a sequence transformer network which automatically calibrates the offset, 2) an attention network, which dynamically identifies regions of interest, and 3) a new QRS complex-enhanced loss for better reconstruction. The experiment results on a real dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method: 3.67% R peak failure rate of the reconstructed ECG and high correlation of pulse transit time between the reconstructed QRS complex and the groundtruth QRS complex (rho = 0.844), which creates a new opportunity for low-cost clinical studies via the waveform-level reconstruction of the QRS complex of ECG from PPG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12374-12383
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number20
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2020


  • Electrocardiography
  • Monitoring
  • Electrodes
  • Biomedical monitoring
  • Skin
  • Standards
  • Sensors
  • Convolutional neural network
  • electrocardiography
  • encoder-decoder
  • photoplethysmography
  • transform network
  • ECG

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