BabyChecker: Artificial Intelligence for prenatal ultrasound examination in low-resource settings

Problem description:

Approximately 99% of maternal deaths - those related to pregnancy or birth complications - occur in low-resource settings where the ability to diagnose and manage pregnancy complications is limited. Prenatal ultrasound screening is used routinely in wealthier countries around the world and is recommended by the World Health Organization. However, the cost of ultrasound equipment and trained sonographers is prohibitive in many regions of the world.

Project summary

The BabyChecker project develops Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools which work in combination with low-cost ultrasound devices. These ultrasound devices connect directly with a smartphone running the babychecker AI software so that the entire imaging and interpretation process can be run offline and at low-cost. The image acquisition can be done by an operator with minimal training, following a standard protocol. The babychecker AI software will perform standard prenatal checks to determine the gestational age and position of the baby and the presence of more than one fetus, for example. In this way, high risk pregnancies can be identified and managed at local healthcare facilities.

Funding

This research project is funded by Delft Imaging.

People

Sofía Sappia

Sofía Sappia

PhD Candidate

Thomas van den Heuvel

Thomas van den Heuvel

Postdoctoral Researcher

Keelin Murphy

Keelin Murphy

Assistant Professor

Chris de Korte

Chris de Korte

Professor

Medical UltraSound Imaging Centre

Jeroen van Dillen

Jeroen van Dillen

Gynaecologist

Gynaecology, Radboudumc

Esther Sikkel

Esther Sikkel

Gynaecologist

Gynaecology, Radboudumc

Publications

  • T. van den Heuvel, D. Graham, K. Smith, C. de Korte and J. Neasham, "Development of a Low-Cost Medical Ultrasound Scanner Using a Monostatic Synthetic Aperture", IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 2017;11(4):849-857.
  • T. van den Heuvel, D. de Bruijn, D. de Moens-van Moesdijk, A. Beverdam, B. van Ginneken and C. de Korte, "Comparison Study of Low-Cost Ultrasound Devices for Estimation of Gestational Age in Resource-Limited Countries", Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 2018;44(11):2250-2260.
  • T. van den Heuvel, D. de Bruijn, C. de Korte and B. van Ginneken, "Automated measurement of fetal head circumference using 2D ultrasound images", PLoS One, 2018;13(8).
  • T. van den Heuvel, H. Petros, S. Santini, C. de Korte and B. van Ginneken, "Automated Fetal Head Detection and Circumference Estimation from Free-Hand Ultrasound Sweeps Using Deep Learning in Resource-Limited Countries", Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 2019;45(3):773-785.