Wearable sensors for foetal movement monitoring in low risk pregnancies

Wearable sensors for foetal movement monitoring in low risk pregnancies

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There is no doubt about the interest of evaluating foetal health through its movements' profile, mainly by counting them at determined intervals. Presently, this is only available through mother's intervention, which is, naturally, extremely sensitive to subjective interference, like anxiety. To turn this method more efficient and comfortable a wearable autonomous device is desirable, both for its expected accuracy in identifying their number and also their type and allowing a prolonged observation. The aim of our research project “Smart-Clothing” has been to find adequate sensors to identify the various foetal movement types (full body, head or limb extension and flexion, respiratory) and to apply them to abdominal belt, tape or girdle, to be continuously used by pregnant women, mainly during the day, but even at night. Although the resulting prototypes have not been considered to fulfil the requirements previously defined, the work done and the performed experiences had given useful information for further developments. A few years after the end of that project, the description of the trials and results obtained seem to be useful data to serve as a basis for the design of future projects.

Chapter Contents:

  • 13.1 Introduction
  • 13.2 The Flex Sensor technology
  • 13.3 Schematic for the circuit with the Flex Sensor
  • 13.3.1 Bend sensor voltage divider
  • 13.3.2 Adjustable buffers
  • 13.3.3 Variable deflection threshold switch
  • 13.3.4 Resistance-to-voltage converter
  • 13.3.5 Flex Sensor LED brightness
  • 13.4 Voltage divider as input of the ADC
  • 13.5 Computation of the Flex Sensor angle
  • 13.6 Standalone Smart-Clothing Flex Sensor belt
  • 13.6.1 Smart-Clothing Flex Sensor belt
  • 13.6.2 Acquisition module
  • 13.6.3 Acquisition module firmware
  • 13.6.4 First version of Flex Sensor view software
  • 13.6.5 Second version of Flex Sensor view software
  • 13.6.6 Third version of Flex Sensor view software
  • 13.7 Packet protocol interface
  • 13.7.1 Acquisition module to PC
  • 13.7.2 PC to acquisition module
  • 13.8 Results
  • 13.9 Other solutions for the monitoring belt
  • 13.9.1 Smart-Clothing on-off belt
  • 13.9.2 Belt with piezoelectric sensors
  • 13.10 Wireless networking architecture
  • 13.11 Conclusions
  • 13.12 Acknowledgements
  • References

Inspec keywords: patient monitoring; biomechanics; wearable computers; obstetrics; medical computing; health care; biosensors

Other keywords: Smart-Clothing; wearable autonomous device; pregnant women; wearable sensors; low risk pregnancies; subjective interference; foetal movement monitoring; flexion; limb extension; abdominal belt; foetal movement types; mother; adequate sensors; foetal health

Subjects: Physics of body movements; Biosensors; Patient diagnostic methods and instrumentation; Biology and medical computing; Biomedical measurement and imaging; Microcomputers

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