Novel system uses AI to detect abnormalities in fetal hearts


A research group led by scientists from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) have developed a novel system that can automatically detect abnormalities in fetal hearts in real-time using artificial intelligence (AI). This technology could help examiners to avoid missing severe and complex congenital heart abnormalities that require prompt treatments, leading to early diagnosis and well-planned treatment plans, and could contribute to the development of perinatal or neonatal medicine. Congenital heart problems -- which can involve abnormalities of the atrium, ventricle, valves or blood vessel connections -- can be very serious, and account for about 20% of all newborn deaths. Diagnosis of such problems before the baby is born, allowing for prompt treatment within a week after birth, is known to markedly improve the prognosis, so there have been many attempts to develop technology to enables accurate and rapid diagnosis. However, today, fetal diagnosis depends heavily on observations by experienced examiners using ultrasound imaging, so it is unfortunately not uncommon for children to be born without having been properly diagnosed.

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