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In Health information science and systems

PURPOSE : Cardiotocography (CTG), which measures uterine contraction (UC) and fetal heart rate (FHR), is a crucial tool for assessing fetal health during pregnancy. However, traditional computerized cardiotocography (cCTG) approaches have non-negligible calibration errors in feature extraction and heavily rely on the expertise and prior experience to define diagnostic features from CTG or FHR signals. Although previous works have studied deep learning methods for extracting CTG or FHR features, these methods still neglect the clinical information of pregnant women.

METHODS : In this paper, we proposed a multimodal deep learning architecture (MMDLA) for intelligent antepartum fetal monitoring that is capable of performing automatic CTG feature extraction, fusion with clinical data and classification. The multimodal feature fusion was achieved by concatenating high-level CTG features, which were extracted from preprocessed CTG signals via a convolution neural network (CNN) with six convolution layers and five fully connected layers, and the clinical data of pregnant women. Eventually, light gradient boosting machine (LGBM) was implemented as fetal status assessment classifier. The effectiveness of MMDLA was evaluated using a dataset of 16,355 cases, each of which includes FHR signal, UC signal and pertinent clinical data like maternal age and gestational age.

RESULTS : With an accuracy of 90.77% and an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.9201, the multimodal features performed admirably. The data imbalance issue was also effectively resolved by the LGBM classifier, with a normal-F1 value of 0.9376 and an abnormal-F1 value of 0.8223.

CONCLUSION : In summary, the proposed MMDLA is conducive to the realization of intelligent antepartum fetal monitoring.

Cao Zhen, Wang Guoqiang, Xu Ling, Li Chaowei, Hao Yuexing, Chen Qinqun, Li Xia, Liu Guiqing, Wei Hang


Antepartum fetal monitoring, Cardiotocographic signal, Clinical data, Convolutional neural network, Multimodal feature fusion