A QRS complex detector based on optimum predetection with a matched filter is described. In order to improve the accuracy of the QRS complex recognition under conditions of Gaussian noise and variable QRS amplitude, the first derivative of the e.c.g. was used with zero threshold detection. In addition, two nonlinear circuits cut off low amplitude noise and all spikes which appear for a fixed time after QRS detection. Calculation of errors shows that differentiation reduces Gaussian error by √6 and errors caused by variable QRS amplitudes are close to zero. This detector is especially useful with biotelemetry systems since it reduces many interferences due to patient movement and communication channel distortion.