A Cheap, Portable Way to Monitor Unborn Babies

Wed, 04/20/2011 - 7:45am
By Emily Singer

An inexpensive portable device could make it easy to monitor fetal health in remote locations, and it might also provide an alternative more expensive machines currently used in doctors' offices in the developed world.

The device, a cardiotocography machine dubbed Sense4Baby, was designed by engineers at the nonprofit West Wireless Health Institute, a medical research organization whose mission is to use wireless technology to reduce the cost of health care.

"We designed Sense4Baby from the ground up to be low-cost," says Joe Smith, West Wireless's chief medical officer. "It takes every advantage of consumer-scale micro-electronics and ubiquitous low-cost communication infrastructure." The institute is now planning field tests of the device in Mexico and is in talks to organize tests at major health-care systems in the United States. The device has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Article Source: Technology Review, published by MIT.


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