Monitoring contractions in hospital and at home

Problem statement – Maternal and infant health is a global healthcare problem affecting developing and developed countries alike. Preterm birth and pregnancy complications increase the risk of maternal and infant death, and are associated with adverse outcomes.

Presently, there is no effective treatment for preterm labor.  Standard methods for labor assessment or prediction are subjective and/or inaccurate. The Electrohysterogram (EHG) is a relatively new promising method for measuring the source of the electrical activity in the uterus. It is a promising tool for detection and classification of contractions and therefore might be used for labor prediction. However, to date the EHG has been mainly used to detect imminent delivery or classify term and preterm deliveries. Additionally, data has been collected mainly on at-risk patients and always in supervised controlled environments such as hospitals.

Meanwhile, lifestyle modifications before and during pregnancy have been shown to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and wearable sensors have been used to track health and lifestyle in general populations. Associations between lifestyle behavior, ethnicity and socio-economical status were also shown to be related to pregnancy outcomes and time of delivery.

Thus, as a next step towards accurate time of delivery estimation we propose an approach aiming at detecting and distinguishing Braxton Hicks, prodromal labor and real labor contractions combining EHG recordings and lifestyle parameters acquired longitudinally in free living.

Project Goal:

  • To validate a wearable ElectroHysteroGram (EHG) monitoring device with wireless data transfer to a mobile unit
  • To collect longitudinal contraction data in hospital/at home using Belli
  • To predict pre-term birth

Keywords- high risk pregnancies, pre-term birth, contractions, Belli