The electrocardiogram (ECG) is currently used in a series of clinical applications based on the analysis of the morphological and temporal characteristics of the waveform; for example, there are numerous applications in telemedicine, such as those aimed at detecting arrhythmias, monitoring heart rate, detecting heart failure, and monitoring patients in intensive care units.
In addition to the clinical applications reported so far, the ECG is also used for the biometric identification of people (identification of an individual), a non-clinical application that receives increasing attention from the market companies of custom and customizable devices, which increasingly use expert and intelligent systems. Today the biometric identification tasks are typically performed by means of physiological and / or behavioral characteristics that are peculiar to the individual such as the face, the fingerprint, the iris, the DNA, to name a few. Each of these, satisfies in a different way the principles of universality, uniqueness, permanence, acceptability on the part of the user, and complexity in falsification. In fact, the fingerprint or the iris are vulnerable to falsification, while others are more difficult to falsify but they have poor acceptability. For example, DNA that, although not falsifiable, can not be used in everyday applications.
On these grounds, recent research has been directed towards the development of ECG-based Biometric Identification Systems due to its high difficulty of falsification and its great user-friendliness, and will represent the future of the devices that will be on the market in the next decade.