CSE Database: Extended Annotations and New Recommendations for ECG Software Testing

Nowadays, cardiovascular diseases represent the most common cause of death in western countries. Among various examination techniques, electrocardiography (ECG) is still a highly valuable tool used for the diagnosis of many cardiovascular disorders. In order to diagnose a person based on ECG, cardiologists can use automatic diagnostic algorithms. Research in this area is still necessary. In order to compare various algorithms correctly, it is necessary to test them on standard annotated databases, such as the Common Standards for Quantitative Electrocardiography (CSE) database. According to Scopus, the CSE database is the second most cited standard database. There were two main objectives in this work. First, new diagnoses were added to the CSE database, which extended its original annotations. Second, new recommendations for diagnostic software quality estimation were established. The ECG recordings were diagnosed by five new cardiologists independently, and in total, 59 different diagnoses were found. Such a large number of diagnoses is unique, even in terms of standard databases. Based on the cardiologists’ diagnoses, a four-round consensus (4R consensus) was established. Such a 4R consensus means a correct final diagnosis, which should ideally be the output of any tested classification software. The accuracy of the cardiologists’ diagnoses compared with the 4R consensus was the basis for the establishment of accuracy recommendations. The accuracy was determined in terms of sensitivity = 79.20–86.81%, positive predictive value = 79.10–87.11%, and the Jaccard coefficient = 72.21–81.14%, respectively. Within these ranges, the accuracy of the software is comparable with the accuracy of cardiologists. The accuracy quantification of the correct classification is unique. Diagnostic software developers can objectively evaluate the success of their algorithm and promote its further development. The annotations and recommendations proposed in this work will allow for faster development and testing of classification software. As a result, this might facilitate cardiologists’ work and lead to faster diagnoses and earlier treatment.

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