Fetal Sounds

A portable fetal heart rate monitor with crowdsourced analysis of observed sounds and data.

What is it?

There are three elements that comprise the entire eco-system, whose main purpose is to keep track and improve the conditions for pregnant mothers. The elements are listed below:
1)The product is accurate and economically feasible portable fetal heart rate monitor along with an app or service(through SMS, in case lack of smartphones) that keeps parents and family members updated and informed on the condition of the mother and baby.
2)An app for health-care workers that maintains consistency and improves their current reporting mechanisms, but converting the reporting from paper-based to digital system.
3)A service that allows qualified individuals to volunteer to study and analyse observed and recorded data, thus crowdsourcing health analysis.
4)Further the app and service, involves the father and family members in ensuring the mother is eating healthy. The process would incentivise regular reporting and improving health of mother and child through increased access to health care for the rest of the family.

How is it used?

Fetal heart rate monitor is used by community health care workers and health centres to monitor the health of the baby. It is strapped on the mother, with the microphone on top of the belly. The beats captured are then relayed through the system to amplify the signal or reduce noise and the reading are presented to the health care worker on a smartphone.

What technologies does it incorporate?

1)Microphones are used to capture heart beats. The microphones have to be based in casing that blocks external sound and noise.
2)Amplifiers and Noise cancelling arduino based or smartphone-app based system.
3)Crowd sourcing analysis of available anonymous data to study for any anomalies.
4)App and SMS service to inform the parents and family members of the health and guide to maintaining the health of the mother and the baby.

How does it work?

The fetal heart rate monitor is strapped to the abdomen of the pregnant mother. It is placed such that the opening of the cone is kept on the abdomen with the microphone in contact with it.
Buffers in the cone help to filter the background noise. The sounds captured by the microphone is passed through the amplifier and noise cancelling system.
The sound obtained after is made available to both the family member and health care workers.
Health workers, update health data for the mother. This data is uploaded to the cloud.
Volunteer medical professionals analyse patient data and report any observed problems or anomalies. This information is passed on to the health care worker, who help to guide the mother and family to take the necessary steps to ensure healthy pregnancy.

Who uses it?

Portable Fetal heart rate monitor is used by health-care workers to monitor the condition of the pregnancy. It is attached by means of a strap to the mother’s belly

Captured sounds are accessible to both the health care workers and the mother and the rest of the family through app.

Information service is provided to parents and family members with the guiding principle of keeping the mother and baby healthy.

Why does it help?

Designed product tackles these problems in the following innovative ways described below.
1)The main function of the product and the service is to read and record the fetal heart rate.
2)The app for health-care workers integrates with existing reporting mechanism, to record data.
Providing quick access to analysing and diagnosing symptoms, by crowdsourcing.
3)The obtained reading are then used to inform the mother, father and other family members of the overall health and any observed anomalies.
4)The app and SMS service keep the entire family engaged with the pregnancy, by providing information on diagnosis, mother’s food requirements, steps to take to improve environment at home and work conditions for the mother.


Team's Location


Team's Occupation


Team Members

Deepak Bhatia

Focus Area(s)

Behavior Change, Data Collection/Data Insight

UNICEF Pillar(s)

Health, Child Protection, Nutrition

These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.


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