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Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor
|Health Topic||Child mortality|
|Location||Africa, Asia, South America|
Problem being addressed
Newborn mortality accounts for over half of all infant deaths. In developing countries, where giving birth at home is common, there may be a lack of electricity to support delivery. Hand cranked heart rate monitors are more suitable for rural settings than expensive Western-derived equipment which can be difficult to repair and often rely on replaceable batteries. Discovering lowered heart rate during contractions gives medical workers a chance to suspend delivery, try to get more sophisticated medical assistance, and protect the well being of the mother and infant.
Detailed description of the solution
This device measures the infant’s heart rate during birth. The design includes an obstetrics ultrasound device connected to the main unit by a cord. It also contains a power-management electronic module, a sound amplifier and a crank for winding up the device. This robust design is meant to withstand wear and tear. Cranking its onboard power-supply charger for one minute provides 10 minutes of operation.
- Designed by: Philip Goodwin (industrial designer), Stefan Zwahlen (electronics designer) and John Hutchinson (project leader) in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Manufacturing: This device is manufactured by Ultrasound Technologies Ltd in Caldicot, South Wales, United Kingdom. Website available here.
When and where it was tested/implemented
This device was tested in South Africa and is now available on the market.
Woods, D. (2009). Appropriate technology and education for improved intrapartum care in under-resourced countries. South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 15(3), 78-79.
(Author unknown). (2009). Freeplay Fetal Heart rate monitor a winner. South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 15(3), 77-77.
Other internally generated reports
Datasheet for the Fetal Heart Rate Monitor. PDF available here.
Fetal Heart Monitor. Freeplay. Link available here.
Externally generated reports
Fetal Heart Rate Monitor. Mandate: Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technology. PDF available here.
Fetal Heart Rate Monitor by Philip Goodwin, Stefan Zwahlen and John Hutchinson. DesignBoom. Link available here.
Freeplay grid-free, crank-powered fetal Monitor. Maternova. Link available here.
Hand-cranked fetal monitor by Freeplay. Maternova. Link available here.
Index: Design to Improve Life. Link available here.