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Midwife's Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a safe, effective, and non-invasive means of identifying pregnancy complications that contribute to maternal mortality. However, the high cost of ultrasound devices and the scarcity of ultrasound training are two major barriers to adoption in resource-constrained environments.

From 2010 - 2012 I led a multidisciplinary team to build a portable, low-cost ultrasound system for midwives and mothers in low-resource regions. We collaborated with midwives across Seattle, Kenya, and Uganda to create a functional prototype. Our system, composed of off-the-shelf hardware and a custom user interface, included an integrated help and tutorial system to help midwives in remote areas answer diagnostic questions when a radiologist may not be reachable.

In collaboration with Beth Kolko, Dr. Robert Nathan, Matthew Hicks, Wayne Gerard, Pratik Prasad, & Waylon Brunette.

Interviewing Mothers

Interviewing Mothers

We interviewed over 50 mothers to better understand their experiences with pregnancy, prenatal care, and ultrasound screenings.

Collaborating with Midwives

Collaborating with Midwives

We job shadowed midwives across Uganda to understand their needs and responsibilities in the clinic. With their help, we tested various prototype interfaces for a streamlined ultrasound system.

Understanding Radiology

Understanding Radiology

Across hospitals in Seattle, we worked with Radiologists to learn how they interpret radiological images and collaborate on patient care.

Learning from Exams

Learning from Exams

We joined midwives as they conducted ultrasound examinations, paying particular attention to how health information is communicated to and understood by patients.

Prototyping with off-the-shelf parts

Prototyping with off-the-shelf parts

For our prototype system, we combined a touchscreen laptop with a portable USB ultrasound probe. On top of these modular parts, we built a custom software layer with a simplified user interface, a tutorial system, and integrated patient record management.

A Simplified User Interface

A Simplified User Interface

Our interface focused on surfacing essential features to help midwives detect high-risk pregnancy complications. We also created an integrated tutorial system to help midwives in remote areas answer diagnostic questions when a radiologist may not be reachable.