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Infectious diseases remain a common problem in low- and middle-income countries, including in Vietnam. Tetanus is a severe infectious disease characterized by muscle spasms and complicated by autonomic nervous system dysfunction in severe cases. Patients require careful monitoring using electrocardiograms (ECGs) to detect deterioration and the onset of autonomic nervous system dysfunction as early as possible. Machine learning analysis of ECG has been shown of extra value in predicting tetanus severity, however any additional ECG signal analysis places a high demand on time-limited hospital staff and requires specialist equipment. Therefore, we present a novel approach to tetanus monitoring from low-cost wearable sensors combined with a deep-learning-based automatic severity detection. This approach can automatically triage tetanus patients and reduce the burden on hospital staff. In this study, we propose a two-dimensional (2D) convolutional neural network with a channel-wise attention mechanism for the binary classification of ECG signals. According to the Ablett classification of tetanus severity, we define grades 1 and 2 as mild tetanus and grades 3 and 4 as severe tetanus. The one-dimensional ECG time series signals are transformed into 2D spectrograms. The 2D attention-based network is designed to extract the features from the input spectrograms. Experiments demonstrate a promising performance for the proposed method in tetanus classification with an F1 score of 0.79 ± 0.03, precision of 0.78 ± 0.08, recall of 0.82 ± 0.05, specificity of 0.85 ± 0.08, accuracy of 0.84 ± 0.04 and AUC of 0.84 ± 0.03.

Original publication








Publication Date





6554 - 6554