Intelligent Ultrasound announces launch of new gestational age estimation AI software, ScanNav FetalCheck and its use in first field study

23 November 2023: Intelligent Ultrasound Group plc (AIM: IUG), the ‘classroom to clinic’ ultrasound company specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) software and simulation, is pleased to announce a new AI development programme for gestational age estimation in prenatal care. ScanNav FetalCheck scanning technology aims to enable a non-skilled or skilled user to establish the gestational age (GA) accurately with minimal training.

Pregnant women are usually offered two routine ultrasound scans. The first at 11-14 weeks is performed to confirm viability of the fetus as well as the gestational age to pinpoint the likely due date. A second scan at 18-20 weeks focusses on detecting congenital abnormalities. Additional scans may be offered to monitor high-risk or complex pregnancies.

Having an accurate gestational age is important in the management of pregnancy, both to assess fetal growth and to inform treatment choice in the event that complications are seen. However, accurate determination of GA is difficult in low and middle -income countries (LMICs) as, currently, GA must be measured by trained sonographers, and very few front-line healthcare workers have the necessary skills.

Intelligent Ultrasound’s ScanNav FetalCheck software aims to enable a non-skilled user to get an accurate GA with minimal training and without the need for an expensive high-end ultrasound machine. It has the potential to transform antenatal care both in LMICs and in high income countries (HICs) by allowing the age of the fetus to be assessed in a primary care setting where women need it.

Intelligent Ultrasound is also pleased to announce that a leading university in Africa has purchased four ScanNav FetalCheck systems as part of a trial to evaluate biomarkers and other factors which affect the probability of stillbirth.

ScanNav FetalCheck is currently not licenced for clinical use.

Aris Papageorghiou, Professor of fetal medicine at the University of Oxford said:

“Accurate estimation of gestational age is crucial for prenatal care: all aspects depend on knowledge of how far along the pregnancy journey a woman and her fetus are. In many low-income settings this is just not available, chiefly due to unavailability of expensive ultrasound equipment and trained staff. In this project, hand-held ultrasound and AI technology are being paired to overcome these roadblocks – this is disruptive technology that has the potential to allow better pregnancy care for all women.”

Nicholas Sleep, COO at Intelligent Ultrasound said:

“The use of ScanNav FetalCheck in this first field study is a testament to the ease of use of our new AI software. Our mission is to make ultrasound easier to learn and simpler to use. This is the next step on our journey to achieving this and putting ultrasound into the hands of front-line health practitioners.”