Foetal monitoring device comes to Mumbai

Three devices worth Rs 3.5 lakh  introduced at Sion Hospitals

Taking into consideration that there are about 2.6 million stillbirths in our country, most of whom belong to low income or middle class families, foetal deaths have not been paid enough attention to in our country until now. For the first time in India, a wireless foetal monitoring device has been introduced at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical hospital, popularly known as Sion Hospital.

The new smart Monica Wireless Foetal Monitoring Device launched at Sion Hospital is far more accurate and hassle-free than the traditional devices
The new smart Monica Wireless Foetal Monitoring Device launched at Sion Hospital is far more accurate and hassle-free than the traditional devices

The technology
The Monica Wireless Foetal Monitoring Device, a product from WIPRO's health maternity care solutions, has already been tested in UK and US. The R3.5 lakh device was launched at Sion Hospital because almost 14,000 babies are delivered here every year; the highest in our city. “From January 2015 to till date we have had almost 3000 deliveries,” stated Dr Nandanvar, Head Gynaecologist, Sion Hospital.

The technology uses ECG-like leads to monitor the foetus' heartbeats. The device can be hung around the patient's neck and the ECG-like leads will be placed on the abdomen, which will then be able to monitor not just the heartbeats of the foetus but also that of the mother and the uterine contractions.

Device

Currently three such devices have been introduced at the hospital and will be put to use. The lightweight machine, without transducer belts found in traditional monitoring devices, gives patients hassle-free and easy routine checkups.

“We will get more such wireless foetus monitoring devices once its accessibility and usage convenience is established. Many of the women who come to Sion Hospital for a check-up come from not very financially stable families. We'd like to provide them also with the best state of the art facilities,” said Suleman Merchant, Dean, Sion Hospital.

The foetus' heartbeat rates are transmitted to the Central Nursing Station via Bluetooth. The information if need be can then be transferred to tablets, smart phones and other such devices through wi-fi connections. This makes it quicker and easier for the doctors as well as the family members to get access to the foetus as well as information about the mother’s condition.

The device will help doctors decipher whether an immediate C-section surgery needs to be carried out. However, it has its limitations. Doctors have stated that at times the readings of the foetus' heartbeats might seem slow because of food intake and other reasons. This might increase the diagnosis for a C-Section delivery. It is necessary for the doctors to use their own discretion and apply their experience. According to the WHO guidelines it is only permitted to have only 14 C-section surgeries in 100 pregnancies.

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