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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:6899-902. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091737.

Telefetalcare: a first prototype of a wearable fetal electrocardiograph.

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Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Bioingegneria, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy.


Fetal heart rate monitoring is fundamental to infer information about fetal health state during pregnancy. The cardiotocography (CTG) is the most common antepartum monitoring technique. Abdominal ECG recording represents the most valuable alternative to cardiotocography, as it allows passive, non invasive and long term fetal monitoring. Unluckily fetal ECG has low SNR and needs to be extracted from abdominal recordings using ad hoc algorithms. This work describes a prototype of a wearable fetal ECG electrocardiograph. The system has flat band frequency response between 1-60 Hz and guarantees good signal quality. It was tested on pregnant women between the 30(th) and 34(th) gestational week. Several electrodes configurations were tested, in order to identify the best solution. Implementation of a simple algorithm for FECG extraction permitted the reliable detection of maternal and fetal QRS complexes. The system will allow continuative and deep screening of fetal heart rate, introducing the possibility of home fetal monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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