Wearable pregnancy tracking device could prevent stillbirths

Published: 15 September 2017 Image credit: Bloomlife

BLOOM

Women could soon have a constant window into their pregnancy, with start-up company Bloomlife given the green light to develop a wearable baby-tracking device for expectant mothers.

The device, to be pushed along the production line with the help of the Stillbirth Foundation Australia and PWC’s Open Innovation Program, will track foetal movement and activity, as well as contractions using existing monitoring technology.

While there are still many questions about why stillbirth occurs, the device makers hope potential warning signs will be picked up and tragedies reduced, as a decline in foetal movement is generally a big alarm bell prior to women going into labour.

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The device will resemble current Bloomlife technology that allows for the tracking of contractions. Image: Bloomlife

“Nothing will replace a visit to the doctor, but a device like this would act like an assistant – tracking important information like heart rate, number of kicks and other movements,” Victoria Bowring, General Manager of the Stillbirth Foundation Australia, said.

“This has the potential to help both expectant mothers and medical professionals.”

Stillbirth claims the lives of six babies every day in Australia, and Bloomlife are hope their prototype will soon be developed into a preventative product that expectant mums can pick up off the store shelf.

“This is about technology catching up to a massive health issue, and helping mums raise healthy, happy families, and we’re excited to get started,” said Ms Bowring.

Stillbirth is the most common form of child mortality in Australia.