BSc (Hons) PhD
Research Group Leader
- Scientific Director, Oxford Centre for Fetal Monitoring Technologies
- NIHR Career Development Fellow
- Wolfson College Research Fellow
- Visiting Fellow, Department of Engineering Science
I am leading a research team to develop a data-driven cardiotocography (CTG) system to continuously assess fetal wellbeing during term labour. CTG is the gold standard worldwide to detect if a fetus may benefit from an emergency delivery. Unreliable, empirical CTG interpretation will be replaced with quantified computer- and data-based individualised risk assessment.
We already have a prototype system (OxSys), as the starting point. It is derived from a large birth cohort (59,279 term deliveries) by systematic analysis of computer-based CTG features and clinical risk factors in relation to perinatal outcomes. In the coming years, we will continue to use such 'big data' to derive new understanding and improved methods for CTG interpretation in the patient-specific clinical context.
Beyond this, we will ensure refined optimal performance of OxSys on the birth cohort; validate OxSys on additional data (approx. 48,000 births); and develop a tablet for real-time wireless CTG analysis, moving OxSys from the 'lab' to the bedside.
Our work will potentially benefit families, clinicians and the NHS by reducing brain injuries, perinatal deaths and unnecessary interventions.
I have developed my career in biomedical research, building on my expertise in signal processing, computing and mathematics, but specialising in intrapartum (in labour) fetal monitoring. I am now leading an ambitious programme to develop evidence-based diagnostics in this clinical field. I am uniquely positioned to achieve this by working with the world’s largest and most complete birth cohort of routine labour data (>59,000 deliveries).
I obtained a BSc(Hons) in Applied Mathematics from the Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria) and a PhD in Computer Science from Portsmouth University. I joined the Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Oxford for a post-doctoral position in 2007. In 2012, I founded the Oxford Centre for Fetal Monitoring Technologies, of which I am the Scientific Director. In 2016 I was awarded a NIHR Career Development Fellowship to grow my independent research group.
AI-driven decision support systems and epistemic reliance: a qualitative study on obstetricians' and midwives' perspectives on integrating AI-driven CTG into clinical decision making.
Dlugatch R. et al, (2024), BMC medical ethics, 25
Prediction of Fetal Blood Pressure during Labour with Deep Learning Techniques
Tolladay J. et al, (2023), Bioengineering, 10, 775 - 775
Trustworthy artificial intelligence and ethical design: public perceptions of trustworthiness of an AI-based decision-support tool in the context of intrapartum care.
Dlugatch R. et al, (2023), BMC medical ethics, 24
Fetal heart rate responses in chronic hypoxaemia with superimposed repeated hypoxaemia consistent with early labour: a controlled study in fetal sheep
Lear CA. et al, (2023), BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Predelivery placenta-associated biomarkers and computerized intrapartum fetal heart rate patterns
Bowe S. et al, (2023), AJOG Global Reports, 3, 100149 - 100149