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The Viability of a Tool for Fetal Health Monitoring
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract: Health monitoring has become widespread these past few years. Such applicationsinclude from exercise, food intake and weight watching, to specific scenarios like monitoringpeople who suffer from chronic diseases. More and more we see the need to also monitorthe health of new-born babies and even fetuses. Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) are themain cause of deaths among babies and doctors do not know most of these defects. Hence,there is a need to study what causes these anomalies, and by monitoring the fetus daily therewill be a better chance of identifying the defects in earlier stages. By analyzing the datacollected, doctors can find patterns and come up with solutions, thus saving peoples’ lives.In many countries, the most common fetal monitor is the ultrasound and the use of it isregulated. In Sweden for normal pregnancies, there is only one ultrasound scan during thepregnancy period. There is no great evidence that ultrasound can harm the fetus, but manydoctors suggest to use it as little as possible. Therefore, there is a demand for a new non-ivultrasound device that can be as accurate, or even better, on detecting the FHR and notharming the baby. The problems that are discussed in this thesis include how can accuratefetus health be monitored non-invasively at home and how could a fetus health monitoringsystem for home use be designed. The first part of the research investigates differenttechnologies that are currently being used on fetal monitoring, and techniques andparameters to monitor the fetus. The second part is a qualitative study held in Swedenbetween April and May 2016. The data for the qualitative study was collected throughinterviews with 21 people, 10 mothers/mothers-to-be and 11obstetricians/gynecologists/midwives. The questions were related to the Swedish pregnancyprotocol, the use of technology in medicine and in particular during the pregnancy process,and the use of an ECG based monitoring device. The results show that there is still room forimprovements on the algorithms to extract the fetal ECG and the survey was very helpful inunderstanding the need for a fetal home monitor. Parents are open to new technologiesespecially if it doesn't affect the baby's growth. Doctors are open to use ECG as a greatalternative to ultrasound; on the other hand, midwives are happy with the current system.The remote monitoring feature is very desirable to everyone, if such system will be used inthe future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Technology, Home monitoring, fetal health, ECG, FECG, MECG, FHR, pregnant woman, doctors, midwives, PhysioNet, algorithms, prototype, WFDB toolbox
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-44209Local ID: 200aded1-5c62-46de-98fc-8530540bafffOAI: diva2:1017485
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Computer Science and Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20160818 (global_studentproject_submitter)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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