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In this work, we exploit multi-task learning to jointly predict the two decision-making processes of gaze movement and probe manipulation that an experienced sonographer would perform in routine obstetric scanning. A multimodal guidance framework, Multimodal-GuideNet, is proposed to detect the causal relationship between a real-world ultrasound video signal, synchronized gaze, and probe motion. The association between the multi-modality inputs is learned and shared through a modality-aware spatial graph that leverages useful cross-modal dependencies. By estimating the probability distribution of probe and gaze movements in real scans, the predicted guidance signals also allow inter- and intra-sonographer variations and avoid a fixed scanning path. We validate the new multi-modality approach on three types of obstetric scanning examinations, and the result consistently outperforms single-task learning under various guidance policies. To simulate sonographer's attention on multi-structure images, we also explore multi-step estimation in gaze guidance, and its visual results show that the prediction allows multiple gaze centers that are substantially aligned with underlying anatomical structures.

Original publication




Journal article


Med Image Anal

Publication Date





Fetal ultrasound, Multi-task learning, Multimodal representation learning, Probe guidance, Female, Pregnancy, Humans, Learning, Attention, Ultrasonography, Prenatal, Ultrasonography