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Uae Researchers Pioneer First Patient-Specific 3D Virtual Birth Simulator

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Digital imaging of a pregnant mother's pelvis could help determine in advance how a birth will occur.

Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia are working to create a virtual birthing simulator that will help doctors and midwives prepare for unusual or dangerous births.

Credit: University of East Anglia

A virtual birthing simulator could enable mothers, doctors, and midwives to see how a birth will likely occur.

Computer scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA) have developed the software, which uses key anatomical data input--such as the size and shape of the mother's pelvis and the baby's head and torso--to simulate the sequence of movements as a baby descends through the pelvis during labor. The software recreates a geometric model of a baby's skull and body in three dimensions, as well as the mother's body and pelvis. Programmers can consider the force from the mother pushing during labor and can even model a virtual midwife's hands that interact with the baby's head. The software could show if a baby's shoulders will get stuck.

"We hope that this could help to avoid complicated births altogether by guiding people in the medical profession to advise on caesarean sections where necessary," says UEA's Rudy Lapeer.

From University of East Anglia
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