To evaluate whether a full-coverage fetal-maternal scanner can noninvasively monitor ongoing electrophysiological activity of maternal and fetal organs.
A simulation study was carried out for a scanner with an array of magnetic field sensors placed all around the torso from the chest to the hip within a horizontal magnetic shielding enclosure. The magnetic fields from internal organs and an external noise source were computed for a pregnant woman with a 35-week old fetus. Signal processing methods were used to reject the external and internal interferences, to visualize uterine activity, and to detect activity of fetal heart and brain.
External interference was reduced by a factor of 1000, sufficient for detecting signals from internal organs when combined with passive and active shielding. The scanner rejects internal interferences better than partial-coverage arrays. It can be used to estimate currents around the uterus. It clearly detects spontaneous activity from the fetal heart and brain without averaging and weaker evoked brain activity at all fetal head positions after averaging.
The simulated device will be able to monitor the ongoing activity of the fetal and maternal organs.