Florida Polytechnic latest reach: Saving babies

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Saving babies is the latest order from Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland. Faculty and student researchers there are developing a new method that would create more accurate maternal and fetal electro-cardiogram signals.

The improved technology would allow doctors to better treat cardiac defects in fetuses before birth.

Noise and interference makes obtaining near-perfect fetal and maternal ECG signals difficult to analyze accurately.

“The goal of this research is to enable doctors to diagnose heart-related diseases in a timely manner and provide the proper treatment,” said Muhammad Ullah, professor of computer engineering. “To do so, we created a method to extract and process the electro-cardiogram signals of the mother (MECG) and the fetus (FECG) to obtain clearer signals for a more accurate diagnosis.”

Researchers developed a new algorithm to separate fetal and maternal ECG signals using a filter to suppress unwanted noise. Ullah said the approach is faster and less expensive that current methods used.

Research is currently in the software implementation phase. The next step is to implement it into hardware. The school is looking for financial support within the industry to continue its research efforts.

“This ECG processing mechanism can help save about 30,000 lives each year,” Ullah said, adding that one out of every 125 to 150 infants suffers from congenital heart failure. “Doctors need to have the most accurate data to be able to save lives.”

Florida Polytechnic researchers presented its work at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on Innovations in Engineering, Technology and Sciences in India last week.

“We always strive to present our work on a big platform like IEEE, one of the largest organizations for the advancement of technology in the world,” said Mohammad Ammar Bharma who has been researching the latest technology with Ullah. “We believe that our direction with this research is very simple and may lead to authentic results that are not just accurate, but cost effective as well,” he added.

Florida Polytechnic is the state’s youngest public university created to increase Florida’s higher education in STEM fields and make the state more nationally competitive for research and innovation.

The school is also making strides in new automotive and transportation technology by researching autonomous vehicles and programs to implement new transportation solutions to improve traffic flow.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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