USCF Continues to Develop Smart Diaphragm to Reduce Preterm Birth Incidents

February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014

University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) received an award of $2.7 million from the Bill & Gates Foundation for a collaborative project to reduce the rate of preterm birth via their Smart Diaphragm device.

USCF Continues to Develop Smart Diaphragm to Reduce Preterm Birth IncidentsSmart Diaphragm is an ongoing research programbeing developedand designed by the bioengineers and clinicians of USCF. The wireless monitoring and warning system of the device alerts doctors toearly signs of preterm birth, which allows for its immediate treatment and prevention. The funding granted will let the USCF Team fulfill the development ofSmart Diaphragm.

Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide. According to World Health Organization, about 15 million premature babies are delivered globallyeach year. The monitored changes that happen in the latter phase of pregnancy are effacement and dilation of the cervix. Currently, the technologies used to detect preterm birth are fetal fibronectin test and transvaginal ultrasound.

Smart Diaphragmobserves the amount of collagen in the cervix and traces subtle changes that may cause early delivery. Thephysician places the soft, flexible device on the cervix, where its tiny built-in sensors can measure electrical signals that correspond to the concentration of collagen and water. Measurements are thentransmittedto a cloud database in the computer that is connected to the diaphragm. The patient who is at risk of preterm birth will be notified before labor contractions begin.

The modified cervical diaphragm is undergoing clinical testing at UCSF Medical Center. The success of the research and device will not only save women from preterm birth but will help ensure the baby’s full development as well.Shuvo Roy, PhD,co-principal investigator and professor of bioengineering at UCSF, added, “Measuring microscopic precursors to labor in the cervix and tracking these changes across pregnancy could fundamentally change the way we think about preterm birth.”

Maternal complications that may result in preterm labor and delivery can bepreventedwith the use of updated and well-maintained fetal monitoring equipment. AIV supplies accessories and repair services for fetal monitoring transducers. Check out AIV’s full line of products and services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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