Optode Design Space Exploration for Clinically-robust Non-invasive Fetal Oximetry

ACM Trans Embed Comput Syst. 2019 Oct;18(5 Suppl):1-22. doi: 10.1145/3358207. Epub 2019 Oct 8.


Non-invasive transabdominal fetal oximetry (TFO) has the potential to improve delivery outcomes by providing physicians with an objective metric of fetal well-being during labor. Fundamentally, the technology is based on sending light through the maternal abdomen to investigate deep fetal tissue, followed by detection and processing of the light that returns (via scattering) to the outside of the maternal abdomen. The placement of the photodetector in relation to the light source critically impacts TFO system performance, including its operational robustness in the face of fetal depth variation. However, anatomical differences between pregnant women cause the fetal depths to vary drastically, which further complicates the optical probe (optode) design optimization. In this paper, we present a methodology to solve this problem. We frame optode design space exploration as a multi-objective optimization problem, where hardware complexity (cost) and performance across a wider patient population (robustness) form competing objectives. We propose a model-based approach to characterize the Pareto-optimal points in the optode design space, through which a specific design is selected. Experimental evaluation via simulation and in vivo measurement on pregnant sheep support the efficacy of our approach.

Keywords: Applied computing → Life and medical sciences; Computer systems organization → Embedded and cyber-physical systems; Dependable and fault-tolerant systems and networks; Internet of medical things; Non-invasive fetal oximetry; design optimization; design space exploration; medical cyber-physical systems; multi-objective optimization.