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No.5 Are We There Yet?

September 16, 2009
by Kristine Breese
"reserved expectant mothers" parking sign

Remote medicine

The big idea: Ever since women started having their babies in hospitals, they’ve been asking their doctors, their Lamaze instructors, and especially their poor, clueless husbands, “How will I know when it’s time to go?”

Remote contraction tracking and fetal heart rate monitoring may soon take the guesswork out. Developed by GE Healthcare in conjunction with AirStrip OB and MP4 Solutions, a new device allows doctors to monitor laboring women and their babies remotely. Although the technology is currently designed to signal the docs when they need to return to the hospital, the device—or something like it—could eventually be used in a home setting, letting women and their OBs know when it’s time to rendezvous for the big moment.

What’s next: Devices are either on the market, or close to it, that measure glucose levels, cardiac arrhythmias, UV exposure, asthma sensitivity, sleep apnea, body fat, exercise exertion levels, and more.

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