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News Archive 2022

Dr Andreea Factor and UCC interdisciplinary researchers discover revolutionary method of analysing newborn babies’ brainwaves

8 Nov 2022
Dr Andreea Factor key member of the interdiciplinary research team who have developed a revolutionary method of analysing newborn babies’ brainwaves. Photo B. Riedewald

Dr Andreea Factor lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience in an interdisciplinary team with colleagues from the Department of Engineering UCC have developed an innovative stethoscope using artificial intelligence (AI) for the accurate detection of congenital heart disease in newborn babies.

The AI-assisted approach uses sound, rather than visual images, to analyse brainwaves (EEG monitoring) and is geared towards more universal healthcare in resource-constrained communities.  

Dr Andreea Factor is the medical lead on the team, as a medical doctor, with extensive clinical experience in neurology and cardiology, Dr Factor worked to create algorithms that perform on par with real live medical professionals.  A graduate of Medicine and Pharmacy University in Timisoara, Romania, Dr Factor also collaborated on the work with medical colleagues in Ukraine who supplied clinical data used in the study.

  “A project close to our hearts”, says Dr Andreea Factor, lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience. 

The concept of a stethoscope was also used to detect anomalies in the brain. Here anomalies manifest as seizures for neonates. This is a very challenging task due to a myriad of causes including diagnosis based on a very complex signal (Electroencephalogram or EEG), lack of availability of trained personnel, delay in analysis reports, cost, etc. All these lead to increased mortality and morbidity, with a prevalence in resource-constrained communities.

By using artificial intelligence-assisted sonification of brain waves, the difficult task of identifying seizures is translated into listening to some specific sound signatures. This new technique has great potential in making the detection of seizures more pervasive, with more medical professionals having access to a fast and accurate technique for seizure detection.

UCC interdisciplinary research team: Professor Andriy Temko Electrical and Electronic Engineering, PhD student Sergi-Gomez Quintana Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Dr Andreea Factor Anatomy and Neuroscience, Dr Emanuel Popovici Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Photo Ralph O'Flaherty

This research was presented at the EAPS 2022 Congress in Barcelona and will appear in the Frontiers in Pediatrics Journal. The novel framework appeared also in a recent Nature Scientific Reports journal and is also a subject of ongoing collaboration. 

Dr Andreea Factor is a College Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neurosciences. She is a medical doctor, and a graduate of Medicine and Pharmacy University in Timisoara, Romania. She has an extensive clinical experience in neurology and cardiology. She holds also a master’s in science in Biochemistry from UCC. Currently, she teaches anatomy in several programs from Medicine/Radiology to Engineering. She also enjoys interdisciplinary research. 

Further links

Nature: Scientific Reports: A method for AI assisted human interpretation of neonatal EEG


Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

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