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A first trimester 3D placental ultrasound scan which can predict fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia, could become part of a woman's routine care thanks to a new Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award.

A Mother's first trimester pregnancy scan which predicts fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia, could be enhanced with a new3D placental scan, thanks to a new Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award. © Copyright: Shutterstock

Congratulations to Prof Sally Collins (Consultant Obstetrician, Sub-specialist in Feto-Maternal Medicine and Principal Investigator at the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health) who was awarded a phase 2 NIHR Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award worth £733,657. 

This Artificial Intelligence Award is run by the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  It will make £140 million available over four years to accelerate the testing and evaluation of the most promising AI technologies which meet the strategic aims set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. It supports technologies across the spectrum of development: from initial feasibility to evaluation within the NHS.

The funds of  £733,657 will be shared between Oxford University Spinout; Perspectum Ltd and the Fetal Medicine Foundation in London. It will enable Prof Sally Collins to run the FirstPLUS study with Prof Kypros Nicolaides at the Fetal Medicine Foundation. Sally commented: "The FirstPLUS study will recruit 4000 women at the FMF attending for their first trimester USS. We will add an extra 3D placental scan which will then be analysed with our exciting OxNNet AI technology. We will then assess if these extra placental metrics can improve first trimester risk prediction of fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. The subsequent improved risk stratification with appropriate allocation of serial growth scans later in pregnancy to those women who will see the most clinical benefit, should be yet another step to reducing the number of stillbirths seen as a result of undiagnosed fetal growth restriction".

The OxNNet Toolkit, automatically measures the volume, morphological metrics and vascularity of the first trimester placenta from a single 3D ultrasound scan.

The AI Award is part of the £250 million funding given by the Department for Health and Social Care to NHSX to establish an AI Lab aimed at improving the health and lives of patients

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