Harvard-Portugal Collaborative Research Award

Title: Improving Perinatal Decision-Making: Development of Complexity-Based Dynamical Measures and Novel Acquisition Systems

Portuguese PIs: Diogo Ayres de Campos, MD, PhD (Hospital S. João, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto) and Artur Arsénio, PhD (Instituto Superior Técnico)
Harvard PI: Madalena Damásio Costa, PhD
Project Period: 4/1/010-5/31/13

Project Summary

This project is aimed at developing more accurate, automated ways to detect and respond to warning changes in fetal heart rate dynamics. Intrapartum complications account for more than one million newborn deaths worldwide each year and cause lifelong neurologic and developmental morbidity. In more than half of such cases, failure to detect and respond to changes in fetal status play a significant role in the causation of abnormal neonatal outcomes. However, interpretation of fetal heart rate, a current mainstay for monitoring, is a frequent target of criticism. This grant provides a unique opportunity to address a public health priority by bringing together teams with complementary and synergistic expertise in maternal and fetal health, computerized fetal heart rate analysis and complex signal analysis.