MSE Research Project Database

Diagnosis of foetal heart defects using ECG and Doppler ultrasound

Project Leader: Ahsan Khandoker
Staff: Marimuthu Palaniswami
Student: Jane Wang
Collaborators: Shaun Brenecke (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Christine East (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Yoshitaka Kimura (Tohoku University, Japan)
Sponsors: Australian Research Council, Atom Medical Co Tokyo, Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne
Primary Contact: Ahsan Khandoker (
Keywords: biosignals; carbon dioxide separation; electrocardiogram ECG; heart
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences
Research Centre: ARC Research Network on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP)

Good health in the developing foetus is critical to the future well-being of a human adult. At least 8 of every 1,000 infants born each year have heart defect and 1.9% of the Australian population have a cardiovascular defect (National Health Survey, 2001). This project proposes a novel non-invasive system to recognise the timings of foetal cardiac events on the basis of analysis of electrical (foetal ECG) and mechanical (Doppler ultrasound signals) heart activity together, to enable obstetricians to detect an early stage of prenatal cardiac dysfunction. The outcome of this project will improve prenatal cardiovascular risk assessment tools in Australia.