Preterm birth is one of the most prevalent cause of stillbirths, or fetal mortality, and neonatal morbidity & mortality. In the U.S. alone, premature births account for nearly 10% of the newborn babies annually. Insufficient and improper nutrition delivery, a primary cause of preterm birth, has been lined with many health diseases and cardiovascular malignancies. Increase in the number of stillbirths on the coattails of preterm birth has raised concerns with regard to safety monitoring, such as heart rate monitoring.
Alterations in readings of heart rate in conventional fetal and neonatal heart monitor has created confusion among clinicians and patients in the past. False readings have further misled diagnosis and treatment, thereby posing high risk to fetus. Recognizing the concern, fetal and neonatal heart monitor manufacturers have introduced novel solutions in order to prevent false diagnosis and avoid ambiguities. Smart pulse fetal heart monitoring technology developed by Philips is one such novel development perceived in the market. This report envisages the fetal and neonatal heart monitor market to record a steady 5.5% value CAGR in the period of forecast, 2018 to 2028.
Opportunities Abound in Fetal and Neonatal Heart Monitors for Metabolic Disorder Induced Risks
Despite intensive efforts taken for interpretation of fetal and neonatal heart rate to prevent hypoxia, challenges prevail regarding complete diagnosis of heart rate pattern changes, particularly caused by metabolic disorders. New research approaches are being introduced for facilitating care of fetal and neonatal hypoxia cost-effectively, as a means to alleviate expensive and complication procedure related to computerized Cardiotocograph (CTG).
One of these approaches is to assess mobile resuscitation devices, which are particularly designed for simplifying newborn resuscitation at bedside through an intact cord, as iatrogenic interference with “auto-resuscitation” occurs post-separation of newborn babies from their placental transfusion. Another effective approach the use of CO breath analyzers during the period of labor, which is easy-to-use, speedy, and non-invasive technology. This technology enables identifying most frequent conditions causing metabolic academia and hypoxia.
Vested interest and rigid mindset of equipment manufacturers who seek lucrative medico-legal practices point at over-longstanding dependency on CTG. However, new research approaches being introduced have paved new avenues for manufacturers of fetal and neonatal heart monitor.
Fetal and Neonatal Heart Monitor: Novel Modality Developments Offering Framework for Non-Invasive Evaluation
Healthcare professionals recommend intrapartum fetal heart rate (FHR) monitor during labor for proper assessment of fetal wellbeing. Despite high penetration, fetal scalp electrode monitor and external Doppler have been deemed to have significant shortcomings, which in turn has led toward the development of non-invasive modality technologies as possible alternatives. Intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring using Electronic Uterine Monitoring (EUM) is considered to be a notable development in the field.
Comparative analysis carried out between accuracy of FHR trace via novel EUM, and fetal scalp electrode monitor and external Doppler has shown accuracy of the former to be significant higher. Intrapartum FHR via EUM has been proved to be accurate and valid, offering higher yields in correlations with the internal scalp electrode monitoring and external Doppler. Such novel modality developments are likely to impart greater framework for intrapartum FHR’s non-invasive evaluation.