Every human labor is characterized by uterine contractions, that cause transient interruptions of fetal oxygen. Most fetuses tolerate this process well, but some fail to do so. In such situations, monitoring the fetal heart rate helps to differentiate the former from the latter as it indirectly indicates fetal cardiac and central nervous system responses to changes in the blood pressure, blood gases, and body ph.
Hence, accurate identification of fetal heart rate allows the maternal-fetal medicine experts and ObGyn to properly monitor the health of the baby, especially during late stage of pregnancy, during labor, to determine conditions of the uterus and how the baby is doing inside the womb.
Fetal heart rate monitoring is done in two ways:
- Externally via Doppler ultrasound device on the mother’s abdomen.
- Internally via an electric device that is connected directly to the fetus’ scalp.
Fetal monitors are useful tools, and fortunately babies’ lives are more secure because of this technology that alerts the caregivers to the problems. However, fetal heart rate is not the only determinant, sometimes other factors like the mother’s health during labor should also be considered.
The data acquired by doctors from NST (non-stress test) machines and other maternal health parameters can at times be confusing and difficult to process in order to make timely decisions.
This is where manufacturers have made advancements in fetal heart monitors, such as AI, ML, analytics – essentially processing all relevant data, formatting it in a comprehensive way to raise timely alerts.
Here are five things to look for in a new innovative fetal heart monitor:
- Wireless & Beltless: Recent monitors are coming with a wireless/beltless electrode patch that allows better mobility and freedom. Unlike the doppler based tocography, where the mother has to be constantly seated on bed attached to all wires monitoring heart rate and contractions, the wireless patch allows for the mother to move around freely and change her positions while lying down on bed.
- One-Time Placement: In older versions of transducer-based monitors, the transducer is required to be repositioned as and when baby moves around, making it difficult to receive the signals. No such repositioning is required in the latest wireless devices that are capable of receiving signals even if there is a fetal movement.
- Effective EMG (Electromyography) Signal: In cases where the mother has a high BMI, accurate readings are difficult to obtain from basic monitors. However, the latest devices can trace signals effectively, showing reliable readings that are not compromised by the high BMI of mother.
- Remote Monitoring: Nowadays, technologically advanced monitors allow transmission and cloud storage of data, mapping the patterns over labor. With advanced connectivity, they come with features of mobile notifications that alerts the doctors and medical team even when they are away from labor room.
- Integrated with EMR (Electronic Medical Records): Several latest fetal heart monitoring devices allow cloud storage of heart rate and maternal parameters. This can be easily integrated with EMR of the patients for better analytics and clinical outcomes.
All these recent advancements in fetal heart rate monitoring devices look promising to provide great assistance to doctors and medical team to ensure safety and comfort of their patients.
Meditorch’s HospitalBuy is a one stop marketplace, for world-class, high quality surgical & healthcare equipment that can suit all your hospital needs. Latest and innovative fetal heart rate monitoring devices from top brands are now available at HospitalBuy that come with the most advanced features. For more information about this product, contact our experts now!