Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science



Collaborative Specialization

Global Health Systems in Africa


Cusack, Rhodri

2nd Supervisor

De Ripaupierre, Sandrine

Joint Supervisor


Determining normal and abnormal fetal function in utero in order to better predict which fetuses are at risk for adverse outcome is critical. However, the medical imaging tools that could assist with diagnosis are very expensive and rarely available in the developing world. In this study, we developed a prototype audio-motio-tachograph (AMTG), which measures fetal movements through the recording of abdominal wall deformations and tested it in Rwanda. First, we showed that AMTG detected fetal signals and that fetuses respond to complex acoustic stimuli. In order to improve the sensitivity of the device, we then measured whole abdominal wall deformations in an automated way using a lab-based 3D optical measurement system, in which fringes are projected and the deflections recorded with a camera. We found that abdominal wall deformations can be measured accurately with a non-invasive measurement apparatus. Overall, we conclude that wearable modalities provide a promising alternative assessment capacity in fetal research, especially in low income countries.

Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2019