Here’s How Your Heartbeat Can be Used to Identify You


Scientists recently conducted a study proving that the heartbeat of a person can be used as a biometric tool to identify people.

Scholars from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University of Iran conducted the research published in February 2022 proposing a way to identify people based on their heartbeats.

Electrocardiograms (ECG) of the participants were taken and analyzed based on their dynamics, rhythm, timbre, pitch, and tonality. The combination of these five qualities was found to be unique for each individual with an accuracy rate of 96.6%.

Carmen Cámara, a researcher from UC3M’s Computer Science Department, stated:

Biometric identification based on cardiac recording has been studied for years, proving to be effective. The main novelty of our work is that we look at the ECG recording, which is a temporary signal as if it were a sound wave. From there, we analyze this sound wave using the qualities that are commonly used to characterize the music.

The technique can be universally applied since the heartbeat is a bio-signal found in all humans. Moreover, the procedure is low-cost and non-invasive.

Another researcher from UC3M’s Computer Science Department, Pedro Peris-López stated:

Nowadays, there are already smart bracelets and watches that perform ECG recordings, so it would be sufficient to install an application on them, which uses our identification algorithm.

The procedure is still currently under development, however, researchers claim they must “continue this line of research, before considering commercialization”. The research will still have to take into consideration multiple factors such as the impact of physical activities carried out by a person that affects their heartbeats or arrhythmias or even aging, due to which researchers claim “the signal changes slightly over time. This means that our system must be updated approximately every five years.”

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