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This Global Health Medical Device is designed for or implemented within resource-limited settings - Browse the devices - Add a device

Health Topic Maternal mortality
Classification Preventative
Scope Clinical trial
Location Africa, Asia, South America

Problem being addressed[edit]

The partograph has proven to be the most effective labor monitoring and assessment tool, allowing individuals to accurately detect complications and address them in a timely manner. However, healthcare workers in resource-limited settings are often not trained to utilize and interpret these graphs properly.

Detailed description of the solution[edit]

The PartoPen is a low-cost, interactive digital pen that interprets paper partographs printed with a recognizable background dot pattern. Using internal handwriting recognition and paper-based location awareness, the pen analyzes measurements made on partographs. It can trigger alerts to healthcare workers when it recognizes a need for additional observation or intervention and contains timers that serve as reminders for healthcare workers to take routine, regular patient measurements. It can also provide audio-based instructions on how to use the partograph.

Designed by[edit]

  • Designed by: The PartoPen was designed by Heather Underwood of The University of Colorado at Boulder, in Boulder, Colorodo, USA.
  • Manufacturer location: Boulder, CO

When and where it was tested/implemented[edit]

Clinical trials were conducted at the University of Nairobi School of Nursing Sciences, Kenyatta National Hospital, and Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Kenya from June 2012 to August 2012.

Funding Source[edit]

This device has received funding from the following:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Exploration Grant
  • Grand Challenges Exploration Grant
  • ATLAS Institute
  • A National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship


Peer-reviewed publication[edit]

Underwood, H., Sterling, R. S., Bennett, J. K. (2013). The Design and Implementation of the PartoPen Maternal Health Monitoring System. Paper presented at the Third Annual Symposium on Computing for Development, Bangalore, India. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

Underwood, H. (2012). PartoPen: enhancing the partograph with digital pen technology. Paper presented at ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Austin, Texas (1393-1398). New York: ACM. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

Other internally generated reports[edit]

The Partopen: Maternal Health. Developing Countries. Digital Pens. (n.d.). Partopen. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

Externally generated reports[edit]

Akolo, J. (2012, August 7). Africa Health: New technology to reduce pregnancy complications. Africa Healthcare IT News. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link not available.

ATLAS Technical Reports. (n.d.). University of Colorado Boulder ATLAS Institute. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

PartoPen. (2013, January 11). Maternova: Tools & Ideas that Save Mothers & Newborns. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

Were, E. (2012, August 8). Kenya: New Technology to Improve Maternal Health Care at KNH. All Africa. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Link available here.

... more about "PartoPen"
Africa +, Asia +  and South America +
Clinical trial +
Maternal mortality +