Breakthrough technology for unborn babies
With just a subtle alarm, unborn babies are considered safer and expectant mums are put at ease.
It's the new technology Queensland's Mater Mothers' Hospitals are adopting for their patients, and they're the first to do so in Australia.
INFANT (Intelligent Foetal Assessment) was developed to enhance the current CTG heart monitoring system most pregnant women are familiar with.
It analyses the unborn baby's heart but then goes a step further, by alerting clinicians to any problems through the use of visual and audible alerts.
"This technology helps to interpret the pattern of the baby’s heart rate and help clinicians know when they should be more concerned," Dr Mike Beckmann from the hospital told 9NEWS.
"It uses like a traffic light system to tell us whether things are green, orange or red. If for whatever reason there was no response, it can even say 'please you need to look at the machine'.”
The technology has already been proven to reduce the risk of stillbirths and brain injuries in newborns.
It was used in 47,000 births in the UK, halving the expected number of tragic outcomes.
"We had an experience where we had decided that action needed to be taken, and we were taking that action, but there’s always in the back of our minds 'have we acted too soon'?
“But as we were acting, INFANT started to alarm so that was reassuring" Midwife Catherine Cooper said.
As soon as the alarm sounds, the technology still relies on human intervention and decision making.
"This in no way takes away the clinician decision-making, this is a tool like pilots rely on automated systems this is another thing for us".
The system is online now at the Mater Mothers Hospitals in Brisbane and Redlands.