Goal

We are developing a wearable, non-transmitting sensor for fetal movements to enable reliable and safe at-home, low-cost monitoring of fetal health. This project is a collaboration with Dr Ravi Vaidyanathan, Imperial College London.

Progress highlights

We developed a new wearable system based on a novel combination of accelerometers and bespoke acoustic sensors and validated the system with concurrent ultrasound tests on a cohort of 44 pregnant women. We showed that the garment was capable of both detecting and discriminating the vigorous, whole-body ‘startle’ movements of a fetus. Paper linked here.

We developed a fetal movement simulator to test responses of sensor arrays to signals from fetal “kicks” in a laboratory environment. We found that the acoustic sensor and the piezoelectric diaphragm are better equipped than the accelerometer to determine durations, intensities, and locations of kicks. Paper linked here.

Ongoing work

We are currently optimising the design of the wearable sensor, in particular the type, number and placement of sensor (e.g., acoustic, accelerometer). Clinical trials comparing performance of the sensor against maternal sensation will start soon.