Development of a Neonatal Brain Health Index (DELPHI)

Year of award: 2018


  • Prof Geraldine Boylan

    University College Cork

Project summary

Neonatal encephalopathy is the most common cause of brain injury in full-term infants and it is caused by insufficient oxygen and blood supply to the brain during birth. Serious brain injury can cause death or permanent disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or learning difficulties. It is very difficult to gauge the severity of the injury by simple observation, but monitoring the electrical activity of the brain can provide critical information about severity, cause and possible outcomes. Treatment, such as whole body cooling, can improve the outcome if applied in time. 

We aim to develop the first ‘smart’ automated system using machine learning to recognise patterns in electrical brain activity in infants with neonatal encephalopathy to help accurately detect the severity of their injury.

This system will allow babies with severe injuries to be identified early so they can be given appropriate therapies that are tailored to their needs.