This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I have a brand new technology for women with at-risk pregnancy. Monitoring the health of the fetus remotely during pregnancy is a challenge. The existing ultrasound technology requires the patients to remain still during monitoring. But what if you could create a wearable contraction monitor that at-risk moms-to-be could still be out working or caring for their families while still being connected to the monitoring station? That’s what the folks at Drexel University decided to work on.
Bringing together people from multiple disciplines, the Drexel team has Tim Kurzweg a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Shima Seiki a professor of Fashion Design, and Dr. Owen Montgomery, OB-GYN chairman at Drexel University College of Medicine. That’s quite a cross disciplinary platform for research! They created a smart fabric that can be worn and connect the monitoring technology from the pregnant patient back to their Doctor’s office or hospital center. The fabric acts as both monitor and antenna using RFID technology. They are getting ready to test the monitor in a clinical trial of pregnant mothers.
This is exciting because this could revolutionize all sorts of remote monitoring setups. Adult heart monitoring, brainwave monitoring or almost anything else. Imagine going to the doctors office and getting a tight fitting t-shirt to wear for the next week while they collect data on your body. It’s just the beginning of an exciting time in medical fashion and fabric design. The Smart Fabric Belly Band is the first of its kind and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Stick around here and come back and check out future episodes here on the Health Tech Weekly show. I’ll be bringing you more on this as it continues to develop and be tested.
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