Evaluation of a Wearable System for Fetal ECG Monitoring Using Cooperative Sensors

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2022 Jul:2022:3131-3134. doi: 10.1109/EMBC48229.2022.9871458.


Fetal electrocardiography (fECG) has gotten widespread interest in the last years as technology for fetal monitoring. Compared to cardiotocography (CTG), the current state of the art, it can be designed in smaller formfactor and is thus suited for long-term and unsupervised monitoring. In the present study we evaluated a wearable system which is based on CSEM's cooperative sensors, a versatile technology that allows for the measurement of multiple biosignals and an easy integration into a garment or patch. The system was tested on 25 patients with singleton pregnancies and an age of gestation ≥ 37 weeks. To reject unreliable fetal heart rate (fHR) estimations, the signal processing algorithm provides a signal quality index. In 12 out of 21 patients available for analysis, a good performance of fHR estimations was obtained with a mean absolute error < 5 bpm and an acceptance rate >70%. However, the remaining 9 patients showed low acceptance rates and high errors. Besides investigating the source of these high errors, future work includes the investigating improved signal processing algorithms, different body positions and the use of dry electrodes. Clinical Relevance - The aim of this work is to develop a wearable system that can be offered in hospitals as an alternative to cardiotocography, or as a home monitoring tool for at risk fetuses, in the era of evolving telemedicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiotocography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Fetal Monitoring*
  • Fetus
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pregnancy
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*