October 25, 2008

Now, a computer to decide for a C-section

Doctors often get confused when it comes to deciding whether a particular woman in labour should undergo caesarean or not. But now, a computer can easily take this decision.

Jose Príncipe and colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville say that wireless sensors could monitor the progress of labour, and warn doctors when a Caesarean is necessary.

In the new method, software could monitor the progress of a woman's labour, reports New Scientist magazine.

Usually, a Caesarean is needed in case of an abnormally slow birth. However, deciding what is abnormally slow is what poses the biggest problem for doctors. According to Príncipe, it is possible to obtain the necessary data by using wireless sensor to monitoring parameters like the electrical activity of the muscles in the uterus, which can help determine the strength and frequency of contractions.

The computer software can then decide whether the birth is progressing normally or not.

Such an approach can provide doctors with valuable extra input to help them decide more safely when to perform a C-section, say the researchers.

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