Applying cybernetic technology to diagnose human pulmonary sounds topical collection on education & training

Mei Yung Chen*, Cheng Han Chou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Chest auscultation is a crucial and efficient method for diagnosing lung disease; however, it is a subjective process that relies on physician experience and the ability to differentiate between various sound patterns. Because the physiological signals composed of heart sounds and pulmonary sounds (PSs) are greater than 120 Hz and the human ear is not sensitive to low frequencies, successfully making diagnostic classifications is difficult. To solve this problem, we constructed various PS recognition systems for classifying six PS classes: vesicular breath sounds, bronchial breath sounds, tracheal breath sounds, crackles, wheezes, and stridor sounds. First, we used a piezoelectric microphone and data acquisition card to acquire PS signals and perform signal preprocessing. A wavelet transform was used for feature extraction, and the PS signals were decomposed into frequency subbands. Using a statistical method, we extracted 17 features that were used as the input vectors of a neural network. We proposed a 2-stage classifier combined with a back-propagation (BP) neural network and learning vector quantization (LVQ) neural network, which improves classification accuracy by using a haploid neural network. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve verifies the high performance level of the neural network. To expand traditional auscultation methods, we constructed various PS diagnostic systems that can correctly classify the six common PSs. The proposed device overcomes the lack of human sensitivity to low-frequency sounds and various PS waves, characteristic values, and a spectral analysis charts are provided to elucidate the design of the human-machine interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jun


  • 2-stage classifier
  • Artificial neural network (ANN)
  • Pulmonary sounds (PSs)
  • Receiver operating characteristic curve
  • Wavelet transform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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