Fetal movement is a valuable source of information to monitor the neurological development of the fetus and assess fetal health. Currently, fetal movement can be assessed by the mother or detected by analysis of ultrasound images. Long-term monitoring of movement is complicated with both these methods as maternal self-assessment has a relatively poor sensitivity and specificity and automatic analysis of ultrasound images is not available. Moreover, ultrasound transducers transmit energy into the body, potentially endangering fetal health. In this paper, an alternative method for fetal movement monitoring is presented. This method operates by estimating and analyzing the fetal vectorcardiogram (VCG) from non-invasive recordings on the maternal abdomen. The determined fetal movement is compared with that assessed from a simultaneously performed ultrasound recording; the results of the presented method are consistent with the ultrasound images. In addition, the presented method enables quantification of the rotation angles by means of analysis of the rotation matrix between consecutive fetal VCGs, providing a tool for long-term monitoring of fetal movement with increased specificity.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings on the 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2008, EMBS 2008, 20-25 August 2008, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Place of Publication||Piscataway|
|Publisher||Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|