Development of a bowel sound detector adapted to demonstrate the effect of food intake

Ning Wang, Alison Testa, Barry J. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Bowel sounds (BS) carry useful information about gastrointestinal condition and feeding status. Interest in computerized bowel sound-based analysis has grown recently and techniques have evolved rapidly. An important first step for these analyses is to extract BS segments, whilst neglecting silent periods. The purpose of this study was to develop a convolutional neural network-based BS detector able to detect all types of BS with accurate time stamps, and to investigate the effect of food consumption on some acoustic features of BS with the proposed detector. Results: Audio recordings from 40 volunteers were collected and a BS dataset consisting of 6700 manually labelled segments was generated for training and testing the proposed BS detector. The detector attained 91.06% and 90.78% accuracy for the validation dataset and across-subject test dataset, respectively, with a well-balanced sensitivity and specificity. The detection rates evaluated on different BS types were also satisfactory. Four acoustic features were evaluated to investigate the food effect. The total duration and spectral bandwidth of BS showed significant differences before and after food consumption, while no significant difference was observed in mean-crossing rate values. Conclusion: We demonstrated that the proposed BS detector is effective in detecting all types of BS, and providing an accurate time stamp for each BS. The characteristics of BS types and the effect on detection accuracy is discussed. The proposed detector could have clinical application for post-operative ileus prognosis, and monitoring of food intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalBioMedical Engineering OnLine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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