Amir A Sepehri has received his BSEE from Auburn University, the USA, and his Ph.D. from Mons University, Belgium on Digital Audio Signal Processing. He has
worked on a special research program on ‘Computerized Screening of Congenital Heart Disease’ for 16 years. He is currently the Director of CAPIS biomedical R&D
department, with close R&D co-operation with scientific members of Innovation Design and Technology department of Mälardalen University in Sweden.
Intelligent phonocardiograph, automated screening of congenital heart diseases in children
Heart defects are the most common types of birth defects. Statistical analysis shows that around 1% of children are born
with Congenital Heart Diseases (CHD and CCHD), accounting for about 10% of all congenital anomalies and for more
than 30% of all infant deaths due to birth defects. In Doppler echocardiography, disease diagnosis is based on direct and
indirect measurements and calculations of the operator. Therefore, subjectivity is attributed to the approach even though, it
has been objectively accepted by cardiology community, which is considered as a drawback of the approach that limits its
application to the expert clinicians and access to such expert clinicians is not easy especially in the rural areas. Heart sound
auscultation is, therefore, employed in all medical settings as the first screening approach which a less expensive method.
Due to progress in signal processing and artificial intelligence, many studies aimed to associate intelligence with heart sound
auscultation techniques for improving screening accuracy in cardiac auscultation, especially in children where the accuracy is
substantially impaired by innocent murmurs. A study in Johns Hopkins University, USA has shown that screening accuracy
in pediatrics cases is as low as 40% in family doctors, which can be rather improved by using computer-assisted auscultation.
After 21 years of research and development, based on our unique and internationally patented processing method on murmur
characterization, the Arash-Band method, and its derivatives, we have developed an original intelligent phonocardiograph,
known as POUYA-Heart. The intelligent phonocardiograph has proven to have a highly accurate diagnosis response in children
with heart diseases and 100% diagnostic accuracy with normal hearts with or without innocent murmurs. POUYA-Heart
exhibits superior performance than a pediatric cardiologist who relies on conventional or computer-assisted auscultation and
drastically reduces unnecessary use of echocardiography.