Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Women's Health Initiative

Women’s health issues are unique, as pregnancy and childbirth often results in different disease risks compared to men. As an Institute we want to drive improvements in women’s health by offering novel technologies to:

  1. understand physiology in women  
  2. understand mechanisms of disease development, and
  3. to improve health outcomes by creating patient specific treatment options.

Researchers at the ABI working in women’s health span disciplines from health professionals, through instrumentation engineers, to mathematicians.

Research programmes

We currently have active research programmes in:


  • Breast health

    Developing a computational framework to aid the reliable interpretation of mammograms and other imaging methods.

  • Pelvic floor mechanics

    Investigating pelvic floor mechanics to improve women’s health before and after childbirth.

  • Reproductive health

    We use data-driven computational models to provide a new understanding of the important contributors to healthy development and to interpret clinical data obtained in early-life.

We welcome any interest in developing new, complementary research projects.

Our expertise and facilities


We develop new devices that can be used to measure physiological parameters such as pressure and muscle stiffness.


Clinical trials

Our devices are currently being implemented into clinical projects in collaboration with our clinical partners. Measurements from these devices have potential not only to inform clinical practice, but also to provide much needed quantitative information for computational modeling.



Computational modelling

We create ‘virtual organs’ (models) that simulate function in the body. We use these models to predict function that we can’t see directly to improve understanding of physiology.


Imaging and image analysis

We specialise in using computational tools to interpret and analyse clinical imaging, both to improve understanding of organ structure in health and disease and to predict outcomes of therapies.

Implantable devices

We work closely with the implantable devices group, which create wireless data acquisition systems that can be implanted or positioned for long term monitoring of physiological signals, including pressure, ECG and blood flow.


Pelvic organs, pelvic floor muscles and bony pelvis

This video shows the spatial relationship between the pelvic organs, pelvic floor muscles and bony pelvis. It is an animation where the organs (and muscles) are added one by one to give an idea of how it all fits together.



Finite element model of the second stage of labour

This video shows a finite element model (FEM) of the second stage of labour, simulating delivery of the fetal head in the occiput-anterior position.


To contact a specific research group please see their research project homepage.

For general enquiries about our expertise or research projects focusing on women’s health please contact:

Portrait of

Alys Clark
Senior Research Fellow

Portrait of

Jenny Kruger
Research Fellow