Research presents new technique to predict success of labour induction

on 19 December 2019

A team from Valencia’s Polytechnic University (UPV) and the City’s Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe has developed a new technique that could help predict the success of labour induction during the first hour which it is applied.

The technique consists of monitoring uterine activity for the first four hours of the induction process. With this technique it is possible to register the bioelectric activity of the muscle by placing adhesive patches (electrodes) on to the mother’s abdomen.

Commenting on the research, Yiyao Ye Lin from the CI2B of the UPV said: “The characteristics of said activity have made it possible, on one hand, to observe the differences in the response to the two most commonly used types of medicines used for labour induction. And we saw that misoprostol generates a quicker response than dinoprostone.

“One the other hand, it was observed that women whose induction was successful showed a significantly different response to the drug compared to others whose process ended hours later with a caesarean delivery.”

Based on the technique, the team of the UPV and Hospital Le Fe have developed an automated system to help diagnose the induction’s success, with success rates greater than 90% improving the rates of classic obstetric indicators which are around 75%.

Head of the Women’s Clinical Department and of the Gynaecology Department of the Hospital La Fe, Doctor Alfredo Perales, added: “All this can be of great significance in taking labour management decisions, and would help obstetrics specialists prevent or decrease unnecessarily long inductions, decrease the mother-foetus risk and suffering, and decrease hospitalisation costs.”

The research team is comprised by the CI2B of the UPV, the Obstetrics Department of the Hospital La Fe and the Unit of Bioelectronics R&D, Signal Processing and Algorithmics of the IIS La Fe.

The research was published in the Medical Engineering & Physics journal.