We introduce a special purpose cumulative indicator, capturing in real time the cumulative deviation from the reference level of the exponent h (local roughness, Hoelder exponent) of the fetal heartbeat during labour. We verify that the indicator applied to the variability component of the heartbeat coincides with the fetal outcome as determined by blood samples. The variability component is obtained from running real time decomposition of fetal heartbeat into independent components using an adaptation of an oversampled Haar wavelet transform. The particular filters used and resolutions applied are motivated by obstetricial insight/practice. The methodology described has the potential for real time monitoring of the fetus during labour and for the prediction of the fetal outcome, allerting the attending staff in the case of (threatening) hypoxia.

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Struzik, Z.R, & van Wijngaarden, W.J. (2001). Cumulative effective Hölder exponent based indicator for real time fetal heartbeat analysis during labour. Information Systems [INS]. CWI.