AuthorsV. Thambawita, J. L. Isaksen, S. A. Hicks, J. Ghouse, G. Ahlberg, A. Linneberg, N. Grarup, C. Ellervik, M. S. Olesen, T. Hansen et al.
TitleDeepFake electrocardiograms: the key for open science for artificial intelligence in medicine
AfilliationScientific Computing, Machine Learning
Project(s)Department of Holistic Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
JournalScientific Reports
PublisherNature Publishing Group

Recent global developments underscore the prominent role big data have in modern medical science. Privacy issues are a prevalent problem for collecting and sharing data between researchers. Synthetic data generated to represent real data carrying similar information and distribution may alleviate the privacy issue.In this study, we present generative adversarial networks (GANs) capable of generating realistic synthetic DeepFake 12-lead 10-sec electrocardiograms (ECGs). We have developed and compare two methods, WaveGAN* and Pulse2Pulse GAN. We trained the GANs with 7,233 real normal ECG to produce 121,977 DeepFake normal ECGs. By verifying the ECGs using a commercial ECG interpretation program (MUSE 12SL, GE Healthcare), we demonstrate that the Pulse2Pulse GAN was superior to the WaveGAN to produce realistic ECGs. ECG intervals and amplitudes were similar between the DeepFake and real ECGs. These synthetic ECGs are fully anonymous and cannot be referred to any individual, hence they may be used freely. The synthetic dataset will be available as open access for researchers at and the DeepFake generator available at the Python Package Index (PyPI) for generating synthetic ECGs.In conclusion, we were able to generate realistic synthetic ECGs using adversarial neural networks on normal ECGs from two population studies, i.e., there by addressing the relevant privacy issues in medical datasets.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Clinical TrialN/AFunding StatementThis work is funded in part by Novo Nordisk Foundation project number NNF18CC0034900.Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:We confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with Helsinki guidelines and regulations of the Danish Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics. The data studies were approved by the ethical committee of Region Zealand (SJ-113, SJ-114, SJ-191), ethical committee of Copenhagen Amt (KA 98 155).All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).YesI have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.YesThe Normal DeepFake ECGs are available at OSF ( with corresponding MUSE 12SL ground truth values freely downloadable and usable for ECG algorithm development. The DeepFake generative model is available at to generate only synthetic ECGs.

Citation KeyThambawita2021.04.27.21256189