Now a smartphone to scan placenta to predict the health of mom, newborn -
Now a smartphone to scan placenta to predict the health of mom, newborn
Posted 27 Nov 2019 04:11 PM

Source: Hans India

A team of researchers has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based novel solution that would produce accurate, automated and near-immediate placental diagnostic reports via a smartphone or a tablet with the appropriate software. Placentas will give critical info about the health of the mother and baby however the cost, time and experience required to analyze them are prohibitive. The research may allow all placentas to be examined, reduce the number of normal placentas sent for full pathological examination and make a less resource-intensive path to analysis for research -- all of which can completely profit health outcomes for mothers and babies.

"The placenta drives everything to do with the pregnancy for the mom and baby, however, we're missing placental data on 95 percent of births globally," said Alison Gernand, prof of nutritional sciences in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development.

The study was presented at the International Federation of Placenta Associations meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina recently.

The patent-pending technology uses AI to analyze a picture of each side of the placenta after delivery so produces a report with essential info critical impact the clinical care of the mother and kid, like whether the fetus was getting enough oxygen in the uterus or if there's a risk of infection or bleeding.

This digital tool may provide a solution, as an individual would need only a smartphone or tablet with the appropriate software.

"Even in very low-resource areas, someone generally has a smartphone," said Gernand. "Our goal is for a medical skilled or trained birth attendant to require a photo which, after analysis through licensed software, may give immediate info that aids within the care of the mother and baby."

For example, an umbilical cord with an abnormal insertion point or excessive twisting can be a predictor of neonatal stroke. Examination after an abortion may give family info about whether future stillbirths might reoccur and facilitate medical professionals to advise them on possible interventions.

To create the system, the researchers analyzed 13,000 high-quality pictures of placentas and their corresponding pathology reports from Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

They labeled a training set of pictures with information points critical to understanding the placenta, such as areas of incompleteness and therefore the umbilical cord insertion point.

Additionally, this tool may advance pregnancy research and be helpful for long-term care by providing clinically meaningful info to patients and practitioners, said the researchers.

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