New wearable patch will monitor high risk pregnancies

Fetal heart rate sensor backed by Uni. of Melbourne
Kali Healthcare Fetal HR monitor
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A new wearable developed by Melbourne University could help reduce stillbirths and offer expectant mothers a way to monitor unborn babies.

The un-named device, which has been developed by Australian outfit Kali Healthcare, offers fetal heart rate monitoring.

It works as a sticky patch, worn on the skin, to monitor the heart rate of the unborn child.

It’s designed to be used as an alternative to ultrasounds and enables mothers to access monitoring more easily. 

In Australia, 1 in 130 pregnancies tragically end in stillbirth.

High-risk pregnancies can mean being required to visit hospital for regular ultrasounds. This can be challenging for rural mothers, and the process can take hours.

It's also a burden on the health service, as ultrasounds require expensive equipment and trained staff, usually located in large hospitals. 

9NEWSKali Health Sensor

"We have developed a new fetal monitoring system. It consists of a small wearable device and sensor patch, that accurately picks up the baby’s heart rate. It is simple to apply and opens the possibility of monitoring at home during telehealth consults," said Associate Professor Fiona Brownfoot, co-founder of Kali Healthcare.

And Prof. Brownfoot also believes the device can simplify heart rate monitoring during birth:

“It will allow women to be active in labor, without the fetal heart rate dropping out, which is a game changer for our patients, midwives, and obstetricians,” she said.

The $750,000 AUD pre-seed investment offered by the University of Melbourne will enable the device to enter trials next year.

It fits with the general theme of wearables enabling better experiences for patients and better outcomes.

Remote patient monitoring via simple, consumer-friendly devices is set to transform healthcare. 

Via: 9News

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