West Health Institute has announced that the newly-formed Sense4Baby is the first venture it has nurtured to be spun off as a separate company. The company’s technology enables the wireless monitoring of high-risk pregnancies in geographically remote clinics. In the next stage of its development, Sense4Baby will have undisclosed backing from the related West Health Investment Fund. It will also be the first company to enter the newly-launched West Health Incubator.
The support follows a study of the system in Mexico's Yucatan which aimed to establish whether Sense4Baby could deliver good quality care while reducing costs. Now the institute says if the system was applied in the US, it could result in nearly US$1.5 billion per year in savings. These savings would come from a number of sources: Better birth outcomes, reduced equipment costs, more efficient use of hospital capacity and reduced costs for expectant mothers.
The Sense4baby system works by a pregnant mother wearing a sensor around her stomach which picks up both her heart rate and that of the foetus, as well as contractions in her uterus. Data is relayed from the sensor via Bluetooth to a smartphone which uses a cellular network to connect with a health facility.