Researchers pioneer first patient-specific 3-D virtual birth simulator

November 21, 2013
Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are working to create a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births. The new program will take into account factors such as the shape of the mother's body and the positioning of the baby to provide patient-specific birth predictions. Credit: University of East Anglia

Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are working to create a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births.

The new programme will take into account factors such as the shape of the mother's body and the positioning of the baby to provide patient-specific birth predictions.

The research will be presented at the International Conference on E-Health and Bioengineering in Romania today.

Dr Rudy Lapeer from UEA's school of Computing Sciences is leading the project. He said: "We are creating a forward engineered simulation of childbirth using 3D graphics to simulate the sequence of movements as a baby descends through the pelvis during labour.

"Users will be able to input key anatomical data – such as the size and shape of the mother's pelvis, and the baby's head and torso. By doing this you will be able to set different bespoke scenarios for both the mother and baby."

The simulation software will see ultra-sound data used to re-create a geometric model of a baby's skull and body in 3D graphics as well as the mother's body and pelvis. Programmers are also taking into account the force from the mother pushing during labour and are even modelling a 'virtual' midwife's hands which can interact with the baby's head.

"Because this programme is patient-specific, doctors and midwives will be able to see how a birth may take place before it has happened on a case-by-case basis. For example, you would be able to see if a baby's shoulders will get stuck.

"We hope that this could help to avoid complicated births altogether by guiding people in the medical profession to advise on caesarean sections where necessary."

'Towards a Forward Engineered Simulation of the Cardinal Movements of Human Childbirth' by Zelimkhan Gerikhanov, Vilius Audinis and Rudy Lapeer will be presented at the 4th IEEE International Conference on E-Health and Bioengineering on November 22, 2013.

Explore further: Hungary: Baby delivered from brain-dead mother

Related Stories

Hungary: Baby delivered from brain-dead mother

November 13, 2013

A university hospital in Hungary says a premature but healthy baby was delivered after doctors kept the child's brain-dead mother on life support for three months.

Childbirth risks not the same for all obese women

September 10, 2013

Obesity raises the chances of complications and medical interventions in childbirth. But a new study by Oxford University shows the risks are not the same for all obese women.

Recommended for you

Formaldehyde damages proteins, not just DNA

September 29, 2016

The capacity of formaldehyde, a chemical frequently used in manufactured goods such as automotive parts and wood products, to damage DNA, interfere with cell replication and cause cancer inspired new federal regulations this ...

Synthetic 3D-printed material helps bones regrow

September 28, 2016

A cheap and easy to make synthetic bone material has been shown to stimulate new bone growth when implanted in the spines of rats and a monkey's skull, researchers said Wednesday.

Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy

September 28, 2016

UCLA geneticist Steve Horvath led a team of 65 scientists in seven countries to record age-related changes to human DNA, calculate biological age and estimate a person's lifespan. A higher biological age—regardless of chronological ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.