The West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI), a San Diego-based non-profit medical research organization, announced the development of their first engineering prototype called “Sense4Baby” ™. The device is a non invasive wireless device designed to measure fetal heart rates and uterine contractions and could made available to expectant mothers anywhere in the world, wherever cellular or internet service exists.
Such capabilities could significantly increase access to fetal and maternal monitoring via low cost wireless technologies and reduce the burden of care associated with high risk pregnancies. Women with high risk pregnancies require monitoring several times each week during the last months of pregnancy and in many areas of the world this is hard to do as distances may be great.
According to UNICEF, 80 percent of maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to essential obstetric and basic healthcare services including monitoring technology.
According to WWHI, by using “Sense4Baby”, the prototype is able to integrate the functionality of the traditional cardiotocography which is the standard technology for measuring fetal heart rates and uterine contractions, with the Sense4Baby device so that data can be viewed and stored anywhere, interface with electronic medical records, and lastly, cost less for the end user to use.
According to Dr. Joseph Smith, Chief Medical and Science Officer, for WWHI, “Our engineering team integrated proven and low-cost technologies into a wireless prototype to potentially use in the home, hospital, or in ambulatory settings. Timely transmission and interpretation of fetal and maternal health data could significantly ease many of the burdens faced by high risk patients.”
“Sense4Baby” is an engineered prototype investigational device but is not yet available for commercial distribution or professional use. WWHI is presently exploring feasibility studies and trial opportunities in the U.S. and globally.
For more information, go to www.westwirelesshealth.org.