Fetosense in India
Fetosense is a patented AI-based wireless portable foetal heart rate monitor which requires no consumables or special expertise to operate on the field.
Project start date : 15/06/2019
Beneficiary country : Bangladesh India Nepal
About the project
In India, the infant mortality rate (IMR) currently stands at 28 per 1000 live births. Each year 3 lakh foetal deaths happen in India due to prematurity. It is well known that 60% of foetal mortality in resource constrained settings is caused by undiagnosed conditions of birth asphyxia (25%), pre-term (25%) and acidosis (10%). Moreover, the Lancet states that maternal and foetal outcomes have worsened globally during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase in maternal deaths, stillbirths, and maternal depression.
The infant mortality rate for India, which stands at 37.9, is not only higher than the world average but also higher than its low-income neighbours Nepal and Bangladesh. A baby born in India is nearly 1.2 times as likely to die during the first year of life as one born in Nepal.
CareNX Innovations Mumbai, a start-up incubated at the IIT Mumbai, has come up with an innovative on-field tested innovation to reduce IMR by at least 52%. Its patented product “Fetosense- AI based foetal heart monitoring solution” has shown 33% early high-risk detection with government facilities in the last 2 years.
Fetosense is already installed in 500+ private hospitals, 10+ government hospitals (including GMCH Aurangabad, GMCH Udhampur, AIIMS Delhi & Nagpur and AFMC Pune etc.), tested more than 150,000+ patients and has been accepted by the National Health Mission (NHM) for project implementation plan of Maharashtra state government for FY 2022-23. Fetosense can be used by trained and qualified personnel in antepartum testing areas, in mobile vans, on field and by every government facility like Medical Colleges, District Hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHC).
Fetosense can be used in low resource settings such as PHCs and Sub Centres of India and does not require any consumables or electricity or thermal paper. Remote monitoring capability allows doctors to monitor the mother from anywhere in the world using their smartphone. Graphs are stored digitally and can be printed on regular paper. The machine is compact and sturdy and auto-interprets 7-8 parameters, from the NST test alongside the graph, that saves time for nurses and doctors and allows quick decisions. When placed at PHCs with delivery facilities, Fetosense can enable regular antenatal and during labour foetal monitoring and detect distress early-on to allow for timely referral to the next facility. Moreover, the PHC staff can share the test with OBGYNs at referral facilities and receive advice.
CareNX Innovations will introduce Fetosense at public health establishments (Sub- Centres, PHCs, CHCs, Sub Divisional Hospital and District hospital) in PAN INDIA, in partnership with Gujarat state government (permission & demand for 10 government colleges is already in place). The project will be managed by the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) of IIT Mumbai who supports CSR corporate initiatives with start-ups. CareNX would be screening 13,800 pregnancies within 1 year for proper foetal monitoring solution.
Out of 30 million pregnancies happening each year in India, ~50k mother and ~300k babies die due to preventable high-risk complications and prematurity. Affordable, portable and timely pregnancy monitoring for 60,000+ clinics, 1.5 lakh+ government centres and by 1.9 million+ health workers is pertinent.
Studies have shown that leveraging technology to reduce antenatal service gaps, reporting real-time ANC third-trimester test results to doctors, remote medical consultation, and periodic labour monitoring can mitigate neonatal complications. Regular foetal monitoring through Non-Stress Test (NST – an established protocol in the third trimester of pregnancy), can help avoid still births. NST must be carried out for every pregnancy, in the third trimester, and during labour.
However, the test is only available at secondary or tertiary level hospitals at district or state level, and has the following issues: NST machines are expensive; High consumable requirement such as power supply, space, thermal paper, wire maintenance; Need gynaecologists or experts to read and interpret the results – a shortage of medical specialists makes service delivery even more patchy; Moreover, bulkiness makes it not suitable nor for in-hospital movement nor for field use.
As a result of these issues, primary health facilities are still using rudimentary means such as fetoscope or stethoscope or simply probing the abdomen with their hands for foetal movement. This does not give the full evaluation of any kind of foetal distress, which, if detected early, can prevent death.
Fetosense Patented Innovation provides no major behaviour change due to familiarity with existing alternatives but with a wireless portable hand-held solution. There is no need of special expertise to operate thanks to the AI based system used to identify and measure the medical risks – specifically the status of asphyxia, pre-term and acidosis in at-risk foetuses. The live remote monitoring is of convenience for doctors to monitor the test anywhere, with no need of paper consumables. Thus saving operational costs. Furthermore, there is also an unlimited record cloud storage for medico-legal purposes and portability allows it to be used in trucks and in the field.
15 Full-Time equivalents
500 Service providers
Number of beneficiaries since launch