Time-frequency characterization of tri-axial accelerometer data for fetal movement detection

Mohamed Salah Khlif, Boualem Boashash, Siamak Layeghy, Taoufik Ben-Jabeur, M. Mesbah, C. East, Paul B Colditz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Monitoring fetal wellbeing is a significant problem in modern obstetrics. Clinicians have become increasingly aware of the link between fetal activity and its well-being. Using data acquired by accelerometry sensors, we use TFDs such as the spectrogram and modified B distribution (MBD) to characterize fetal movements in the time-frequency (TF) domain. This paper reports a fetal activity detection method based on the root-mean-square (RMS) of time series and evaluates its performance against real-time ultrasound imaging, taken as the gold standard. The evaluation showed better performance with the RMS-based detector as compared to maternal perception. The evaluation also showed that the detector performance is age-dependent and that fetal movement is characterized by different TF morphology. Time-frequency distributions (TFDs) with better resolution such as MBD are investigated for TF-based techniques for the detection of fetal movements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology, ISSPIT 2011
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781467307529
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology (ISSPIT) 2011 - University of Deusto-Deusto Tech, Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 14 Dec 201117 Dec 2011
Conference number: 11th


ConferenceIEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology (ISSPIT) 2011
Abbreviated titleISSPIT 2011
Internet address


  • Accelerometer
  • detection
  • fetal movement
  • modified B distribution
  • quadratic TFDs
  • Spectrogram
  • time-frequency analysis

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