Noisy neonatal chest sound separation for high-quality heart and lung sounds

Ethan Grooby, Chiranjibi Sitaula, Davood Fattahi, Reza Sameni, Kenneth Tan, Lindsay Zhou, Arrabella King, A. Ramanathan, Ashwin Malhotra, Guy Dumont, Faezeh Marzbanrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Stethoscope-recorded chest sounds provide the opportunity for remote cardio-respiratory health monitoring of neonates. However, reliable monitoring requires high-quality heart and lung sounds. This paper presents novel artificial intelligence-based Non-negative Matrix Factorisation (NMF) and Non-negative Matrix Co-Factorisation (NMCF) methods for neonatal chest sound separation. To assess these methods and compare them with existing single-channel separation methods, an artificial mixture dataset was generated comprising heart, lung, and noise sounds. Signal-to-noise ratios were then calculated for these artificial mixtures. These methods were also tested on real-world noisy neonatal chest sounds and assessed based on vital sign estimation error, and a signal quality score of 1-5, developed in our previous works. Overall, both the proposed NMF and NMCF methods outperform the next best existing method by 2.7&#x00A0;dB to 11.6&#x00A0;dB for the artificial dataset, and 0.40 to 1.12 signal quality improvement for the real-world dataset. The median processing time for the sound separation of a 10&#x00A0;s recording was found to be 28.3&#x00A0;s for NMCF and 342&#x00A0;ms for NMF. With the stable and robust performance of our proposed methods, we believe these methods are useful to denoise neonatal heart and lung sounds in the real-world environment. Codes for proposed and existing methods can be found at: <uri></uri>.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2635-2646
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Artificial intelligence
  • breath sound
  • Heart
  • heart sound
  • Lung
  • lung sound
  • neonatal
  • Noise measurement
  • Pediatrics
  • phonocardiogram (PCG)
  • Recording
  • signal quality
  • single-channel sound separation
  • telehealth
  • Time-frequency analysis
  • Training

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