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Noninvasive System Helps Monitor Labor Progress

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Nov 2015
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Image: The TrueLabor maternal fetal monitor (Photo courtesy of OB-Tools).
Image: The TrueLabor maternal fetal monitor (Photo courtesy of OB-Tools).
An integrated maternal-fetal monitor provides a wireless solution for accurate monitoring of both uterine contractions and fetal heart rate.

The TrueLabor system is based on an electrical uterine monitor (EUM) that measures electrical activity via surface electromyography (sEMG) electrodes attached to the abdomen to measure the minute electrical signals of uterine contractions and fetal heart beats, allowing expectant mothers to move about the delivery room freely. The location of the electrodes is determined using a position sensor and the signals analyzed by an algorithm. Signal acquisition is unaffected by body movement and coughing, resulting in high quality, reliable information on the activity of the uterus.

The algorithm generates a wave pattern that graphically demonstrates the presence, frequency, and intensity of uterine contractions. Both EUM technology and the algorithm have been shown to be reliable, reproducible, and free of limitations throughout the stages of pregnancy and labor, even when monitoring preterm uterine contractions and in high body mass index (BMI) or obese patients. The TrueLabor system is a product of OB-Tools (Migdal Haemek, Israel), and is designed to work with any current monitoring system and electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

“The algorithm not only highlights the important uterine contraction information but also filters out the excess noise in the body that sometimes interferes with other monitors,” said Gal Ben-David, PhD, MBA, CEO of OB-Tools. “More importantly, our device can distinguish between true and false contraction and is not affected by movement, change of position, coughing, etc.”

EMG is an electro-diagnostic medical technique for evaluating and recording the electrical potential generated by muscle cells when electrically or neurologically activated. For evaluating uterine contraction activity, the EUM uses nine surface electrodes and a multichannel amplifier to measure sEMG activity. Various studies have shown it to be comparable to traditional monitoring with an intrauterine pressure catheter (IUPC).

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