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Professor James Smith uses software and robotics to improve birth outcomes


Professor James A. Smith started at Lassonde just this fall but he has been working for some time on human birth modelling and robotics. Using MapleSim technology, Professor Smith has been examining how to improve labour induction techniques and how to maximize energy regeneration in rehabilitative devices.

Labour is induced in many pregnant women, often when they are overdue and there is a risk to the child if it is not born soon. For example, over 20% of all pregnancies in both the United States and the United Kingdom end in induced labour. The techniques currently used are outdated and not well quantified.

The goal of this research is to better understand the process of labour induction so a training simulator can be developed for use by students and researchers.

Next steps in this project include creating an actual electro-mechanical model of a cervix. This physical training simulator will be used to help train medical and midwifery students and will provide a physical method for testing other dilators in a risk-free environment.

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