Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce that number.

Corns is studying fetal heart rate patterns to develop a computational model that can predict the risk of dangerous conditions like fetal hypoxia and acidosis after a mother is in labor.

“The goal is to look at the heart rate to try to predict what those conditions are (that cause oxygen deprivation during birth),” Corns says. “And then before we get to the situation where the baby is highly acidotic, go in and do an intervention.”

Corns says that in the early stages of labor, doctors typically rely on cardiotocography, also known as electronic fetal monitoring, to record fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions, usually reviewing the results every 10 to 20 minutes.

Corns instead wants to analyze tens of thousands of discrete data points that could more accurately predict patterns — and pitfalls — to arm physicians and nurses with more informed decision-making tools.

Early results are promising. In a research paper presented at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, the researchers found two types of algorithms that demonstrated a 96 percent accuracy rate in predicting outcomes in the three fetal heart rate classifications: normal, indeterminate and abnormal.

The team hopes to compile data representing over 100,000 live births by collaborating with medical scholars in Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City.

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]