New sensors help women – level 3

21-05-2021 07:00

An interdisciplinary team of scientists has developed a wireless network of three soft, flexible sensors that can measure the vital signs during labor of both the mother and her fetus.

The chest sensor senses the mother’s heart rate and the body temperature. It can also sense movements that can be interpreted into the maternal position during labor. The chest sensor communicates with the one on the mother’s finger which gives the pulse oxygen levels and the pulse rate. These two sensors are time synchronized, and they can generate a wireless blood pressure measurement. The last sensor on the belly provides data on uterine contractions and the fetal heart rate.

The sensors allow for continuous monitoring during labor that could even be done remotely, and mothers at home could be reassured that they and their children are doing well.

Difficult words: interdisciplinary (relating to more than one branch of knowledge), fetus (an unborn human being or animal), uterine contraction (the tightening and shortening of the muscles in a woman’s lower abdomen during labor), fetal (relating to the fetus).

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