Measuring hand-applied forces during childbirth

C. R. Patel, S. H. Poggi, C. Y. Spong, R. H. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We report on a tactile force-sensing glove worn by an obstetrician to measure the force applied on a fetal head during childbirth. The glove consists of five piezoresistive sensors strategically placed to measure normal forces applied to the head. The normal forces are converted to traction forces via laboratory calibrations. The sensors interface with a computer for real-time data acquisition and processing. The glove is being used to quantify and investigate clinician-applied forces during vaginal deliveries, with special focus on an obstetric emergency known as shoulder dystocia. A prototype version has been developed and tested with multiple birthing simulations, as well as six normal deliveries and one delivery with a compound presentation. We conclude that a tactile sensing glove can be used to study hand-applied forces during childbirth to better understand the relationship between different birthing procedures and the forces applied during them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1799-1800
Number of pages2
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 2002 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 24th Annual Conference and the 2002 Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES / EMBS) - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2002Oct 26 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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