This week at the mHealth Summit in Washington DC the West Wireless Health Institute unveiled its first engineering prototype, Sense4Baby, which leverages wireless health technology to measure fetal heart rate and uterine contractions. The prototype aims to monitor both maternal and fetal wellbeing anytime, anywhere.
“Sense4Baby is an evolution in standard cardiotocography, which typically requires patients to be tethered to a hospital or clinic bed or making frequent trips to a doctor’s office,” Dr. Joseph Smith, Chief Medical and Science Officer, WWHI, said in a statement. “Our engineering team integrated proven and low-cost technologies into a wireless prototype that could potentially be applied in home, hospital, or ambulatory settings. Timely transmission and interpretation of fetal and maternal health data could significantly ease many of the burdens faced by high-risk patients.”
According to the WWHI, the advantages of the Sense4Baby concept include:
Ease of use (portability, ease of gathering data)
Ability to view data anywhere cellular or internet service exists (via smart phone, web portal, etc.
Ability to store data electronically and interface with electronic medical records, where available
Significantly lower cost to the end-user
The Sense4Baby prototype will also be a core component of the “Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit,” which WWHI developed along with Qualcomm and the Carlos Slim Health Institute. The kit also includes a 3G phone; glucometer and blood pressure meter; urine strips, and 3G wireless embedded laptop.
The groups is deploying the Kit to health professionals and community health care workers in Mexico to aid the monitoring of women with high-risk pregnancies during primary care. The kit enables "the collection of vital maternal and fetal data, such as blood pressure, fetal heart rate and glucose levels, in basic clinics or in the home," according to the companies.