AI Could Support Early Diagnosis of Disorders in Pregnant Women

At the University of Seville, a research team has performed a meticulous and comprehensive analysis of the use of artificial intelligence for pregnant women in the past 12 years.

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The study proved that artificial intelligence helps detect disorders like congenital heart birth defects or macrosomia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes in time.

Analyses of cases involving artificial intelligence identified a correlation between the number of preterm births and the environmental pollution to which the pregnant women had been exposed earlier.

There is growing interest in the application of artificial intelligence in obstetrics and gynecology. These applications of AI can not only monitor women’s health during pregnancy, but can also help to improve the universal provision of health services, especially in the most disadvantaged areas. This field therefore contributes to improving both individual and public health.

María del Carmen Romero, Researcher, University of Seville

Moreover, this study exposes the near-total lack of studies in which emotions are considered as input parameters in risk prediction models in pregnancy (just 1.28% of the analyzed studies).

Also, very few studies closely analyzed the mental health of pregnant women (just 5.1% of the analyzed studies), despite the proven fact that the psychological health of women is associated with the risk of suffering some diseases that are characteristic of pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a crucial state that comes with the need for change and new learning, thus potentially leading to fear, anxiety, worry, and even depression in women.

Affective computing-based systems could enable emotional interaction with the pregnant woman and, for instance, identify emotional changes, making it feasible to provide guidance or recommendations, which the system would have received earlier from doctors.

With this, the patient can feel safer and closer to her health service, thus minimizing the usual feelings of worry or anxiety that sometimes result in physical problems.

Given that there is previous scientific evidence that supports the idea that the emotional state and mental health of the pregnant woman can influence the occurrence of risks in pregnancy, our study highlights what is a very interesting multidisciplinary research niche for affective computing in the field of health and well-being of pregnant women.

María del Carmen Romero, Researcher, University of Seville

Journal Reference:

Oprescu, A. M., et al. (2020) Artificial Intelligence in Pregnancy: A Scoping Review. IEEE Access.

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