Medical experts from the Nuvo Group, a specialist in the pregnancy wearable technology industry, have developed a wearable device, called the PregSense, designed to collect in-depth pregnancy data for expectant parents and their physicians.
The Bluetooth-enabled belt-like device collects data such as the mother’s and baby’s heart rates and transmits this data to a smartphone. The data collected is stored on a secure cloud-based database accessible only to the mothers-to-be and their doctors. The data can help physicians detect symptoms earlier that may lead to complications.
“It’s the first time you have a huge amount of data of women and babies together about heart rate, kicking, the position of the foetus, etc., and we will be able to analyse this data to predict events during the pregnancy, like preterm labour, pre-eclampsia and more, allowing doctors to intervene at the right time,” explained a medical informatics expert and active care primary physician, Dr Varda Shalev.
Unlike traditional foetus monitoring devices, the PregSense monitor does not use ultrasound and does not require pregnant women to lie still while doctors manually search for the foeteus’ heartbeat. Using a patented algorithm, the sensors detect signals which are filtered into two heartbeat recordings.
According to the developers, the sensors avoid the potential harm to tissue posed by ultrasonic devices and are safe for continuous monitoring for both the mother and baby. Additionally, the data collected could be useful for research purposes.
“The sophistication of the technology and the sensors we have designed is really making what used to be clinical data collection into passive, continuous, reliable home data collection,” said bio-signal expert and Chief Technology Officer for Nuvo Group, Prof. Nathan Intrator.
The developers noted that a smartphone app will eventually provide a visual representation of the data gathered by the wearable monitor. Developers are confident that the complete technology will change pregnancy care management.
“Now you can see both you and the baby, the heart and all the data. What you are going to get in the app eventually is visualisation that can tell you where the hand is, if the baby is awake, and you can hear your baby’s heartbeat anytime you want. And, obviously, everything about you as the mom, whether you are relaxed, how you sleep, your level of activity, your heart rate – everything about your pregnancy will be put into data,” explained Nuvo Group founder, Oren Oz.