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South Africa: Wind-Up Heart Rate Monitor will Help Save Africa's Babies
Source: Google Alert
Source Date: Thursday, October 09, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 09, 2014

Preventable complications

"Current methods to measure the fetal heart rate are either too expensive, too inaccurate or rely on replaceable batteries or electricity to run," the company said. "The Wind-up Fetal Doppler is especially designed to empower midwives and delivering nurses to give better care."

It is especially targeted at semi-urban and rural areas across Africa, where women and infants often die due to preventable complications during child birth.

PET, which has been working on the development of the hand-cranked, wind-up fetal doppler for "many years", says it has verified the effect of the device in tests in Uganda, "where 60% more cases of abnormal fetal heart rate were detected in labor, compared to the standard Pinard-stethoscope".

A first prototype of the wind-up doppler has been released by the Philips Africa Innovation Hub, which is the center for developing innovations "in Africa-for Africa" in the areas of health care, lighting and healthy living.

Frontline health care workers

The prototype is subject to clinical testing and regulatory approval, before release for general usage.

"We are very excited about the collaboration with Philips", said Dr Francois Bonnici, director of PET and director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cape Town, He said he hoped the collaboration would make the "innovation available and affordable for frontline health care workers across the African continent."

The reduction of child mortality and the improvement of maternal health are two key UN Millennium Development Goals.

Source: Royal Philips

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