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Home pregnancy examiner. A wearable automated system for monitoring fetus health, for high risk pregnancies.

The home pregnancy examiner (hope) is the first product to provide a comprehensive solution for daily tracking of all four vital measurements (ecg, fhr, fetus mobility and uterine contractions) from the comfort of the expecting mother’s home or on the go.

Over the last 30 years, our ability to recognize high risk pregnancies has risen dramatically. Contributing factors include multiples, gestational & chronic hypertension, diabetes mellitus and pregnancies at higher age. Assisted reproduction technologies are one of major contributing factor. Approximately 12% of pregnancies in the western world are categorized as "high risk” meaning the women needs to be followed by highly experienced ob/gyn, specialist in high risk pregnancy field. Some of these women are followed in special clinics, some needs frequent hospitalization. . Complications are common and might require the mother to arrive at the hospital for immediate medical attention. Consequently, close, continuous monitoring of high risk pregnancies is highly recommended. Weekly, sometime even daily visits at the doctor’s office or in special HRP clinics are needed to assess the wellbeing of the fetus. The costs, inconvenience and logistics problems related with this sharp increase in monitoring sessions have motivated the market to develop better technologies for home monitoring. The HOme Pregnancy Examiner (HOPE) is the first product to provide a comprehensive solution for daily tracking of all four vital measurements (ECG, FHR, Fetus Mobility and Uterine Contractions) from the comfort of the expecting mother’s home or on the go. HOPE is mobile monitoring solution, designed for daily or even continuous measurement of a mother and her fetus’ vital signs. HOPE is built into a soft state-of-the-art fabric belt which is lightweight, elasticized, supportive, washable and irritation-free. It can be worn under normal clothing. HOPE is able to monitor a mother’s ECG, Fetal Heart Rate (FHR), fetus mobility (liveliness) and Uterine Contractions. HOPE provides a fully automated solution for real-time monitoring sessions with a remote caretaker. HOPE uses a smart phone for both wireless communications, advanced signal processing as well as a user friendly interface. Fetal Heart Rate (FHR) measurement is perhaps the most important variable for a fetus’ condition. Unfortunately, a fetus’ heart is extremely small (approx 2mm in early gestational stages) and must be located precisely, from a perpendicular angle (relative to the fetus' cardiac valves) in order to achieve a reliable measurement. Complicating matters even more is the fact that a fetus’ position and orientation within its mother’s womb is constantly shifting. HOPE uses patentable sweeping search technology to locate the fetus’ heartbeat, track it and continually measure it. Another key metric for a fetus’ health is movements and mobility (the amount of torso, arms and legs movements). Unfortunately, the only accurate tests available today are full-fledged ultrasound imaging. A low-tech solution for this monitoring involves the mother lying on her side for an hour counting “baby kicks”. This highly subjective method often results in unnecessary trips to the ER by mothers who are unsure of the number of kicks felt. HOPE will use its patented ability to pinpoint the location of the fetus’ heart to track movements of the heart’s location, thereby assessing the fetus mobility. Furthermore, once the fetus heart is located it is possible to calculate the location of the fetus limbs, focus on them and by a different specially designed Doppler transducer to evaluate not only the number of movements but their intensity as well. In order to optimally evaluate the fetus wellbeing it is necessary to monitor the fetus movements and heart rate, a healthy fetus should show long lasting adequate correlation between movement intensity and an increase in the heart rate. HOPE is the product of cooperation between HeraMED; a medical startup developing fetal monitoring technology and Noliac, a Siemens company specialized in developing ultrasonic transducers for medical applications. HOPE is expected to be widely supported by medical insurers’ as it vastly reduces the cost of on-site medical examination as well as possible birth complications. The companies have signed a joint development and marketing agreement and plan to distribute the system under the Siemens brand. Development of HOPE will last 27 months and cost €1.95M. Sales of HOPE during the first five years on the market are expected to surpass €50M.
Acronym: 
HOPE
Project ID: 
7 628
Start date: 
01-02-2012
Project Duration: 
27months
Project costs: 
1 950 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Market Area: 
Diagnostic test products and equipment

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