Babykick: development of a wearable system for detecting fetal movements during pregnancy

Date

2021-01-05

Authors

Vefaghnematollahi, Shayesteh

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Abstract

Decreased fetal movement can indicate uncommon complication of labor; in response, we have developed a non-invasive, wearable monitoring tool to objectively assess fetal movement called the Babykick device. The novelty of this device is that it moves away from a traditional subjective assessment of fetal movement to an objective, quantitative measurement that remains low-cost. The designed tool refrains from utilizing expensive and less available monitoring modalities such as ultrasound imaging, Doppler velocimetry or cardiotocography. Instead, the wearable consists of a piezo-sensitive belt that is wirelessly connected to a phone or tablet. It can be used to record the frequency and amplitude of fetal movements perceived passively and non-invasively on the surface of the abdomen of the pregnant woman for a period of up to one hour while she is supine or seated in a reclined position. The ndings from the Babykick device will be correlated with those from subjective maternal assessment and the observation of the Research Coordinator during the test. This low-cost, non-invasive wearable belt could potentially reduce negative outcomes such as stillbirth, perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidity in low- to middle-income settings and is anticipated to be useful for long-term home monitoring.

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Keywords

fetal movement, low-cost, wearable

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