Pakistan is ranked highest in child birth fatalities. This issue is not limited to just Pakistan, this is a worldwide problem. Only in 2015, 2.6 Million stillbirth cases were reported and 77% of these took place in South Asia and sub-Saharan regions of Africa. In Pakistan, the reported rates of stillbirths range from 36-70/1000. Globally this rate is 18.4/1000 pregnancies. According to WHO, 98% of these take place in low income countries and rural areas.
Intrauterine deaths and stillbirths are very frequent in rural areas of Pakistan where there are lack of proper medical facilities. There is an urgent need for a solution to capture the vitals and fetal condition of the pregnancy and communicate them to the remote consultants who can take immediate actions in order to avoid stillbirths. It is quite difficult for the parents to be able to travel from rural areas to the cities to see the doctors or have an ultrasound many times in a month to know how their unborn child is since the parents have to wait for the appointments. Also in urban areas, complications may arise in between periods of appointments which the parents may be unaware of since the fetal condition is not being monitored on a regular basis.
Our solution to this problem is a low cost portable kit, which consists of both hardware and software. It includes an IoT enabled belt equipped with sensors. This belt is to be placed on the mother’s abdomen from where it captures the fetal heart beat and fetal movements. It sends it via Bluetooth to the mobile application. The data received is analyzed and displayed, enabling the doctors to know about the health of the fetus. As internet becomes available, the data is synchronized with the cloud and will be available on the web application.
The main feature of this system is to provide
automated analysis of fetal health on regular basis without providing any harm
to both the mother and the child. In case of anomalies in heart rates and
movement patterns, this system generates timely alerts so that precautionary
measure could be taken before it is too late. If internet is not available,
alerts are generated in form of an SMS. As the system makes remote monitoring
of the fetus possible, it aims to reduce the high rate of intrauterine deaths
and stillbirths in Pakistan and other rural countries.
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