Pregnant women with specific health needs or risks are another group who may benefit from remote monitoring by healthcare professionals.
For example, Philips is partnering with Babyscripts to enable maternity clinics and hospitals to remotely monitor their pregnant patients’ blood pressure, weight, and other vital signs. This allows pregnant women and care providers to manage pregnancy-associated risks in between regular antenatal care visits by alerting them to changes in a woman’s health condition. Bringing professionally supervised ultrasound monitoring into the home could be a next step.
COVID-19 has further highlighted the value of remote prenatal care. It has been estimated that up to half a million women may deliver their babies in 2020 while infected with COVID-19. In fact, of those women who delivered in New York State between March 22 and April 4, 2020, 15% had COVID-19 . Moreover, pregnant women who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 are interested in ways they can minimize their time in a hospital to limit their exposure to the disease.
Responding to those needs, we recently announced the introduction of a wireless and disposable electrode patch that can be placed on the mother’s abdomen. The patch enables continuous, non-invasive monitoring of maternal heart rate, fetal heart rate, and uterine activity, for up to 48 hours. It only needs to be placed once instead of being repositioned every hour, limiting the amount of required physical interactions between nurses and patients – while helping them to stay connected remotely.