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Home care phonocardiography: an Italian experience

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6 Author(s)
Romano, M. ; Dept. of Biomed., Electron. & Telecommun. Eng., Univ. "Federico II", Naples, Italy ; Cesarelli, M. ; Ruffo, M. ; Bifulco, P.
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In this work we describe an Italian experience of foetal home monitor, based on a pilot system consisting of three phonocardiograph home monitors by Pentavox. Phonocardiography is non invasive and passive in nature and allows developing of low-cost and easy to use equipments. Its application in a telemonitoring system enhances diagnostic capabilities, allowing long-term measurements. The home monitors can have telemedicine facilities as far as they can transfer data by GPRS to a remote server. Six selected patients, without effective pregnancy risk, were supplied with a lightweight ambulatory cardiotocograph (Fetaphon-home) equipped with two probes: a microphone and a pressure transducer. Monitoring covers the measurement of foetal heartbeat, uterine contractions and foetal movements. The selected patients were instructed by trained personnel in the use of the monitoring device. Patients were asked to perform the recording two times a week once and to transmit 20-min signal to the computer sever of reference centre. The home monitoring sessions were performed in addition to the routine surveillance at the clinic; thus, the study monitoring did not replace clinic visits. Preliminary measurements on the selected pregnant women have shown that the use of this methodology significantly reduces the need of travel for patients and consequently their stress. Moreover, the obtained results, even if performed on normal foetuses, suggest that, after a short training, pregnant women are able to record and transmit long traces without troubles. Use of telemedicine system was generally well accepted by pregnant women increasing the possibility of foetal long-term home surveillance which in turn could increase the efficiency of the service offered to pregnant women.

Published in:

Information Technology and Applications in Biomedicine, 2009. ITAB 2009. 9th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Nov. 2009