Smart Fabric Belly Band Revolutionizes Fetal and Maternal Heart Rate MonitoringSeptember 19, 2014
Researchers at Drexel University developed a smart all-fabric, wireless bellyband intuitively designed with electronic circuitry that can be used to monitor fetal heart rate and measure maternal uterine contractions anywhere and anytime. With its technologically advanced, fashionable and wearable design, the maternity wear offers revolutionary access to real-time monitoring.
Several handheld fetal monitoring devices intuitively deliver specific information during pregnancy such as estimated due date, how often the baby kicks, and how far apart the contractions during labor.
Following a series of mannequin simulation testing prior to clinical trials, the bellyband fetal monitor proved to show similar results to that of the tocodynanometer, a non-invasive, pressure-sensitive uterine contraction transducer but offers greater comfort and ease of use to expectant moms. However, unlike the tocodynanometer, this RFID-enabled bellyband does not use electrodes or wires that limits the mobility of pregnant women while they experience contractions or during fetal monitoring.
Engineered with radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, the fetal monitoring technology can seamlessly knit a pattern across the center of the band and can further measure variations in the uterine contractions and other vital information from both the mother and baby.
According to Owen Montgomery, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Drexel's College of Medicine, "Any woman that has worn tocodynanometer straps and sees the belly band - essentially like a tube top piece of fabric - says, 'I want that right now.'
At present, the Drexel team continues to improve the garment’s design to fit women's various body physiques throughout pregnancy in preparation for the forthcoming FDA qualification testing within the next six months.
In other news, the team of Drexel University engineers also aims to launch other innovative projects such as a smart fabric “onesie” designed to set off an alarm if the baby experienced slowed or stopped breathing, and a fabric device that can automatically contract and expand to function as massaging socks for muscle spasms or as hospital apparel to help patients mitigate bedsores.
Groundbreaking fetal and maternal care technologies like this next-generation wearable bellyband from Drexel Lab could go along way towards advancing today’s standards for quality and safe fetal monitoring and maternal care. AIV is dedicated to providing new and recertified fetal monitoring system accessories, quality refurbished transducers, and expert services for optimal neonatal and maternal care. Learn more about AIV’s comprehensive line of fetal monitoring equipment accessories and parts for major manufacturers at www.aiv-inc.com/www.aiv-inc.com/fetal-monitor-transducers.html.
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