Digital twin – assistant to the pregnant woman | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2022-07-20

Digital twin – assistant to the pregnant woman

Pregnant woman
Researchers from Gdańsk University of Technology plan to develop an innovative assistance system for pregnant women, which uses artificial intelligence. This will allow to anticipate risks related to pregnancy complications before the symptoms occur. The research team is planning to develop i.a. „a digital twin”, which will support monitoring the state of the patient at home and at a medical facility. Clinical trials will be conducted by the specialists from Gameta clinic in Gdynia.

As part of the project, the researchers will develop an IT platform named WODIA. It is a set of ICT advanced tools, algorithms and services (a mobile application is also planned), that allows to collect and integrate data from the clinic and individual measurements taken by the pregnant woman (telehealth technology). The platform will collect data such as the health history, vital signs, ultrasound scan, uterine artery blood flow, and a number of biomarkers.

Owing to the digital model (“digital twin”), it will be possible to monitor and predict the pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia and pregnancy hypertension, prior to observing the symptoms. If needed, the tool shall help to determine an optimal medication dose and treatment plan during  the pregnancy. The platform is intended for both medical staff (doctors, nurses, midwives), as well as the patient and her family.

– Most importantly, our platform is to improve the safety of health of the pregnant woman. However, we also want to check how the developed models and the system can improve the comfort and quality of the patient’s life, e.g. properly planning visits in a clinic or taking right measurements. On the other hand, our solutions can possibly contribute to lowering the costs of health care – says Jacek Rumiński, DSc, Gdańsk Tech professor from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, the manager of the national consortium for the project.

The researchers plan to develop models that will be tested by doctors from Gdynia and Aarhus

The team from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, will be responsible for developing the artificial intelligence model within the scope of predicting health risks, related to the pregnancy. He will also be involved in developing methods of monitoring and measuring data from pregnant women

Gameta Gdynia Centrum Zdrowia, one of the largest infertility treatment and prenatal testing centers in Poland, will participate in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of clinical trial results. The project involves: Prof. Krzysztof Preis, MD, gynecologist and obstetrician (project supervisor), Dariusz Wójcik MD, obstetrician gynecologist, president of Gameta Gdynia Health Center, Dorota Zamkowska, MD and Kinga Jaguszewska, MD, obstetrician-gynecologist.

Dariusz Wójcik emphasizes that pregnancy-induced arterial hypertension and related complications are one of the most important clinical problems affecting pregnant women. It is estimated that this disease affects up to 5-10 percent of pregnant women. Pregnancy-induced hypertension and related pre-eclampsia account for 76,000 cases of deaths among women and 500 thousand deaths of babies each year. Infants who survive often experience long-term health problems, including cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, blindness, and hearing loss. Pre-eclampsia complicates up to 8 percent of all pregnancies and can lead to several life-threatening conditions, often requiring treatment and hospitalization.

Nowadays, this problem is becoming more frequent. Occurrence of this complication is influenced by many factors, including the age of the pregnant woman, systemic diseases occurring before pregnancy, environmental and genetic factors, a delay in the average reproductive age also being a significant cause – says Dariusz Wójcik, MD. 'The aim of this project is to create more accurate tools to predict the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and related complications early in pregnancy, which will allow for a rapid introduction of prophylaxis and help delay or alleviate its course. We have the appropriate equipment, we have qualified staff, we are prepared for tests - adds the head of the clinic.

The three-year project "Personalized monitoring and screening program for pregnant women at risk of pre-eclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension" is implemented under the Era PerMed program. The international research consortium consists of: Aarhus University (leader), Aarhus University Hospital (Denmark), Gdańsk University of Technology, Gameta Gdynia Health Center Sp. z o.o, and Zitec Com SRL (Romania). The project was co-financed by the National Research Center. The total budget of the national consortium (including the entrepreneur's own contribution) is over PLN 1 million. Financing for Gdańsk Tech amounts to over PLN 522.7 thousand.