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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to discuss the complexity of fetal movement detection encountered during development and implementation of an automated single Doppler ultrasonic transducer based instrument. The single transducer instrument was intended to better quantify the duration, velocity, and magnitude of fetal movements. A Corometrics Model 116 fetal heart rate monitor was modified, and a fetal movement detection algorithm (Russell Algorithm) was developed to detect fetal movements on one and two (data fusion) transducers. A Hewlett-Packard (HP) M-1350-A fetal monitor and the Russell Algorithm were used to detect and record fetal movements concurrently on sixty patients between the gestation ages of31 to 41 weeks. Using a computer-controlled SVHS PC-VCR, the instrumental detection of fetal movements was time-linked with real-time video ultrasound. This allowed the fetal movements to be scored by expert examiners on a second-per-second basis. A total of 52,478 seconds of fetal movements was scored using this system. Neither system could accurately define the entire duration, velocity, or magnitude of the fetal movements as detected by real-time ultrasound. The complexity of detecting fetal movements using only one transducer has many shortcomings, such as: the amplitude of the returning Doppler signal, the small area of the fetus monitored by a single transducer, the position of the fetus, the type and variety of fetal movements, and material size and shape.

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