A new device being trialed in Melbourne is expected to allow expectant mums to monitor their babies from home. Prescribed by doctors, the FeMom will stick onto a pregnant belly and send information such as heart rates and contractions to an obstetrician via an app.
Vinayak Smith, a Monash University clinical research fellow, is one of the FeMom's developer.
Dr Vinayak says it brings maternity care into the 21st century.
"It's basically a home monitoring system and the most comprehensive one we can offer in terms of a virtual obstetric clinic at the moment. So what this does is actually gives you the ability to monitor the mother in the outpatient setting for the first time.”
Once the device is stuck on, it connects to the phone via an app, tracking the heart rate of mother and baby, as well as any potential heart contractions.
That information is sent to the treating obstetrician in real-time.