Ensemble Machine Learning for Estimating Fetal Weight at Varying Gestational Age
Obstetric ultrasound examination of physiological parameters has been mainly used to estimate the fetal weight during pregnancy and baby weight before labour to monitor fetal growth and reduce prenatal morbidity and mortality. However, the problem is that ultrasound estimation of fetal weight is subject to populations’ difference, strict operating requirements for sonographers, and poor access to ultrasound in low-resource areas. Inaccurate estimations may lead to negative perinatal outcomes. We consider that machine learning can provide an accurate estimation for obstetricians alongside traditional clinical practices, as well as an efficient and effective support tool for pregnant women for self-monitoring. We present a robust methodology using a data set comprising 4,212 intrapartum recordings. The cubic spline function is used to fit the curves of several key characteristics that are extracted from ultrasound reports. A number of simple and powerful machine learning algorithms are trained, and their performance is evaluated with real test data. We also propose a novel evaluation performance index called the intersectionover-union (loU) for our study. The results are encouraging using an ensemble model consisting of Random Forest, XGBoost, and LightGBM algorithms. The experimental results show an loU of 0.64 between predicted range of fetal weight at any gestational age from the ensemble model and that from ultrasound. Comparing with the ultrasound method, the estimation accuracy is improved by 12%, and the mean relative error is reduced by 3%.