Premature birth
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    Premature birth

    Premature birth complicates 6-10% of births, is associated with 70% of neonatal mortality, and is commonly associated with cerebral palsy and other morbidity with substantial long-term consequences. In the last 30 years there has been no change in the incidence of premature birth. A major difficulty has been the lack of effective methods of predicting those women destined to deliver preterm. Even when a woman presents in clinical preterm labour she has a less than 50% chance of preterm delivery. Our research is aimed at developing a more effective method of predicting preterm delivery long before the onset of preterm labour, which in the future may allow the initiation of therapy earlier in the process than is currently possible.

    This project will provide proof-of-concept that a computer program can be developed to predict a pregnant woman's risk of preterm birth. There is a large market (4M US and 8M Europe), there are no competing technologies. This is a unique collabortion between Biomedical Engineering and an Australian center with an international reputation in Preterm Birth.

    It is clear that combines the results of multiple analytes and ultrasounds, using equations that describe their behaviour, will be more effective than current methods for predicting which women will deliver prematurely.

    To this end the following specific aims or milestones will be achieved:

    1. Pilot studies on four hundred subjects have allowed the development of equations describing 12 variables, a further 350 subjects will be recruited, the equations will be further refined with this later data set.
    2. A computer program is developing which combines the data on the 400 subjects to optimise the prediction of time of delivery.
    3. The performance of the computerised system will be compared to current clinical predictors.
    4. A further 350 subjects will be recruited and the performance of the computer program will be tested on this second independent cohort.

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Last updated: July 15 2015 09:16:55.