Researchers at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital have created the first AI that is capable of estimating the functional brain maturity of pre-term babies. The software interprets electroencephalography (EEG) measurements taken from preterm infants to make calculations about the brain’s functional maturity.
Based on machine learning, the software calculates the brain maturity more accurately than the conventional methodologies available. This technology enables physicians to take automatic objective measurements of patients, reducing workload and increasing the accuracy of a vital metric.
EEG had been an option to assess brain development, prior to the addition of AI, however it required time and expertise from the physician in order to be reliably implemented. The development of this artificial intelligence has made it possible for physicians to track the functional development of the brain non-invasively.
One in ten new births is a preterm birth, making it one of the more prominent reasons for newborns to be admitted to the NICU. Furthermore, other complications implicit in pre-term births also delay brain development. As such, having a tool that allows monitoring of these developments is a leap forward in the management and treatment of preterm infants.
Developed in Professor Sampsa Vanhatalo’s lab at the University of Helsinki by Nathan Stevenson, an Australian engineer, researchers trained the AI by feeding the system large amounts of exceptionally extensive and well-controlled sets of EEG measurement data from preterm infants, gathered by Professor Katrin Klebermass’ research group at the Medical University of Vienna.
Professor Sampsa Vanhatalo said, “We currently track the development of an infant’s weight, height and head circumference with growth charts. EEG monitoring combined with automatic analysis provides a practical tool for the monitoring of the neurological development of preterm infants and generates information which will help plan the best possible care for the individual child”.
Study in Scientific Reports: Functional maturation in preterm infants measured by serial recording of cortical activity…