An application of the wavelet transform to electrocardiography is described in the paper. The transform is used as a first stage of a lossy compression algorithm for efficient coding of rest ECG signals.The proposed technique is based on the decomposition of the ECG signal into a set of basic functions covering the time frequency domain.

Thus, non-stationary character of ECG data is considered.Some of the time frequency signal components are removed because of their low influence to signal characteristics. Resulting components are efficiently coded by quantization, composition into a sequence of coefficients and compression by a run-length coder and a entropic Huffman coder.

The proposed wavelet-based compression algorithm can compress data to average code length about 1 bit/sample. The algorithm can be also implemented to a real-time processing system when wavelet transform is computed by fast linear filters described in the paper.

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