The non-profit West Wireless Health Institute says it has developed its first engineering prototype—a wireless fetal and maternal monitoring device called “Sense4Baby.” The device, which is intended for use by expectant mothers wherever cellular or Internet service exist, also has become part of a collaboration with Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), the San Diego wireless giant, and Mexico City’s Carlos Slim Health Institute.
“What we’re trying to do is bring the care to the patient, rather than the patient to the care,” West Wireless CEO Don Casey told me yesterday. And here at Xconomy, I’m pleased to say, we’re bringing the Sense4Baby prototype to you—in the form of a brief presentation at our Xconomy Forum: Health IT—The Consumer Payoff.
We have organized this evening forum, which will be held at the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical R&D Center next Wednesday, November 17, to focus on how advances in health IT will increasingly impact healthcare services for consumers. Our program runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and will be followed by a networking reception. More information and online registration is available here.
The West Wireless Health Institute has agreed to give a brief overview of the Sense4Baby technology during our “burst” presentations, joining already-scheduled talks by MediPacs CEO Mark McWilliams and Independa CEO Kian Saneii.
As the first prototype device to come out of the Institute, Casey says Sense4Baby represents an important archetype because it is intended to enhance healthcare, reduce existing cost, and address an unmet health need that exists around the world. Citing data from UNICEF, the institute says 80 percent of maternal deaths could be prevented if women had access to essential obstetric and basic health care services, including technology to monitor fetal and maternal health.
The Sense4Baby prototype was developed by the West Wireless Health Institute as a key technology component for a “Wireless Pregnancy Remote Monitoring Kit” developed through a collaboration with Qualcomm and the Carlos Slim Health Institute. In addition to the Sense4Baby device, the kit includes an affordable 3G phone; a glucometer and blood pressure meter; urine strips, and a 3G wireless embedded laptop.
In a separate statement, the partners say the kit “will enable timely and continuous monitoring in rural and marginalized areas, bridging the gap and enabling access to health and medical services. This is particularly beneficial for groups at higher medical risk, including pregnant women who live in areas where health care is not readily available.”
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