OCT 21, 2018 9:20 PM PDT

Stress-free Sensor Technology Measures an Unborn Heartbeat

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Monitoring the heartbeat of the unborn is known to be stressful for expectant mothers. However, recent research at the University of Sussex may ease this process through the development of an effective sensor.

image via prlog.org

The newly developed sensor, created by Dr. Elizabeth Rendon-Morales, is an electrometer-based amplifier prototype using Electric Potential Sensing (EPS) technology that will measure the heartbeat of an unborn without the need to make a trip to the clinic or hospital. The sensor is effective enough to detect heart-related congenital defects during pregnancy or caution for future complications like premature delivery or umbilical cord compression.

Such new technology advances away from gel application and the existing use of silver chloride electrodes. "Although the ultrasound procedure is described as being non-invasive, having gel rubbed on your skin and then an electrode pressed against your womb is invasive and can be an uncomfortable experience for mothers. With this new heart monitor, expectant mothers can get reassurance that their baby is doing fine within a few seconds, removing the unnecessary stress and worry that waiting for a hospital scan currently involves,” explains Dr. Rendon-Morales, a Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Sussex.

It will allow mothers, experiencing diabetes, preeclampsia, and other high-risk pregnancy factors, to be able to regularly monitor the wellbeing of their baby. "Currently expectant mothers with health concerns about their babies have to go through the stress of going to a hospital to check on the heartbeat of their child. With this new technology, they will be able to do this from the comfort of their own home, which will be much better for the welfare of mother and baby,” says Dr. Rendon-Morales.

The sensor technology will non-invasively monitor for an utero fetal electrocardiogram simply by placing the device on top of the abdominal skin of the pregnant mother. The sensor is highly accurate in recording information needed to calculate fetal heart rate values and variability. It can be used as an aid for diagnoses of congenital cardiac diseases including arrhythmia as well as monitoring the processes implicated with blood pressure and heart vascular tone.

Despite the availability of home-based fetal electrocardiograms, they are not always accurate or effective. "This technology is a step forward for home-based medical devices, benefiting not only health service providers though resource optimization, but also expectant mothers who are experiencing a very exciting, but sometimes stressful, moment in their lives,” states co-author of the study, Dr. Rodrigo Aviles-Espinosa who is also a research fellow at the University of Sussex. "This technology will give peace of mind in providing answers very quickly and ultimately ensuring the baby's wellbeing."

Source: ScienceDaily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
JUN 14, 2020
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
If you’ve been following SpaceX, then you’d know that the commercial space company has been launching quite ...
JUL 20, 2020
Neuroscience
Phantom-Limb Pain Reduced by Brain-Computer Interface
JUL 20, 2020
Phantom-Limb Pain Reduced by Brain-Computer Interface
Phantom-limb pain is a condition in which amputees feel like their amputated limb is still attached to their bodies. Whi ...
AUG 16, 2020
Technology
An Online Calculator Can Predict Your Stroke Risk
AUG 16, 2020
An Online Calculator Can Predict Your Stroke Risk
Clinicians can make an educated prediction on a patient's risk to a stroke based on the severity of their metabolic ...
SEP 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
SEP 15, 2020
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
Researchers from Dartmouth College have found that passively-collected data from smartphones is able to predict a person ...
OCT 09, 2020
Technology
Deep Learning Advances Drug Design
OCT 09, 2020
Deep Learning Advances Drug Design
Computational data is advancing all areas of medicine and pharmaceutical drug development is certainly no exception. &nb ...
OCT 13, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Uses of Tandem Mass Spectrometry (TMS)
OCT 13, 2020
Uses of Tandem Mass Spectrometry (TMS)
What is tandem mass spectrometry? A powerful analytical tool that is capable of characterizing complex mixtures in drug ...
Loading Comments...