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Rapid technological advances are expanding the possibilities for medical testing instruments that can significantly improve the timely identification of prenatal abnormalities. One key indicator of prenatal well-being is the fetal heartbeat. Fetal heartbeat data have been recorded and analyzed since the mid-1960s. CTG (cardiotocography) monitoring during the third trimester is one of the primary non-invasive means of gaining information on fetal well-being. The procedure records data on fetal heart rate and uterine contractions, as well as fetal activity reported by the mother. The resulting data can be used to screen for fetal oxygen deficiency, compression of the umbilical cord, intrauterine infections, and fetal anemia, among other conditions.
BabyCTG is a system for monitoring and analyzing fetal heartbeat. BabyCTG consists of a 75-gram ultrasound sensor: a measuring instrument connected to the mother’s smartphone, on which the analysis software is installed. The sensor’s microprocessor, based on the Doppler effect, calculates the current fetal heart rate and communicates this data at a rate of once every 300 milliseconds over Classic Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy. Because both Bluetooth standards are supported, the sensor is able to communicate with a wide range of mobile devices using both Android and iOS platforms.
Because the application supports the entire monitoring process, it is very easy to use. The mother executes the CTG measurement with the help of her phone and the sensor. She sends the results to her doctor over the internet. Using the FetalGuard application – which is also part of the system – the doctor can view and evaluate the data on her own phone, then report back on the results, saving the mother another visit to the doctor’s office.