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Smartphone-Based System Monitors Mother and Fetus

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Dec 2013
Image: The Sense4Baby System with fetal monitor and uterine contraction pressure sensor (Photo courtesy of Sense4Baby).
Image: The Sense4Baby System with fetal monitor and uterine contraction pressure sensor (Photo courtesy of Sense4Baby).
A remote, wireless, maternal/fetal heart rate monitoring system performs non-stress testing (NST) for high-risk pregnancies on a smartphone or tablet.

The Sense4Baby System is a sleek, noninvasive, cardiotocograph that uses proven, Doppler-based technology to measure fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate, and uterine contractions. The system uses Bluetooth and smartphone technology to connect the monitor to a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant, cloud-based data storage system with a web-enabled portal. Using the portal, heart rate tracings and biometric data is made available to physicians anytime, anywhere, through 3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks.

The system consists of a central unit with a wireless Doppler ultrasound to measure fetal heart rate, a pressure sensor to gauge strength and frequency of uterine contractions, and the gateway device (smartphone or tablet) to provide local data storage, visualization, and communication with mobile data networks for data transfer. The Sense4Baby System is a product of Sense4Baby (La Jolla, CA, USA), and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Our miniaturized, user-friendly system performs equivalently to a traditional bulky monitor, and helps us move towards our bigger vision of reimagining maternal care during pregnancy with smart, cellular devices in an mHealth world,” said Jessica Grossman, MD, President and CEO of Sense4Baby.

“The Sense4Baby System allows medical professionals to conduct NST's anytime, anywhere a mother is located, moving data rather than patients through the care continuum,” said Michael Ross, MD, MPH, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Torrance, CA, USA). “The secure portal facilitates test interpretation by a specialist, ideal for health care in rural populations and for staying connected to vital data that can help ensure the safety of mother and baby.”

The system is currently being studied in several clinical research trials for self-use by mothers at home, measuring how easy it is for them to apply the system, find the fetal heart rate and complete a successful test session. The system is also slated for a multicenter randomized controlled trial at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (The Netherlands; www.umcutrecht.nl) in a population of women who are at increased risk of developing common pregnancy complications.

Related Links:

Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht


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