Together with maternal health and assistance products such as Bongmi’s Femometer and Ava Science’s Ava for Women, digital Health Tech devices for new and expecting parents are becoming increasingly common. Hatch Baby’s line of products for this market, including Hatch Baby Grow and Hatch Baby Rest, work with the same mobile device app, giving parents the advantage of a single platform for monitoring what’s going on with a new baby.

Hatch Baby Listen assists parents before delivery. Listen is a fetal doppler heartbeat sensor that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an audio simulation of the fetal heartbeat. The device receives the sound waves reflected by the fetus, calculates heartbeat frequency changes using the Doppler effect, and converts the data to sound. The app plays the audio, displays a visualization of the heartbeat, and saves both the sound and visualization as a video file on the smart device.

The Listen device is not wireless; it attaches to the mobile device with a special cable. Listen also does not produce images of the fetus like a sonogram. Hatch Baby recommends using Listen for short periods of time after 16 weeks of pregnancy and not before the end of the first trimester because it can be difficult to hear the heartbeat that early. It should not be used to calculate heart rate and definitely shouldn’t replace doctor visits. The company said the only concern doctors have with fetal doppler devices for home use is that expecting parents might use them in place of prenatal care visits.

Hatch Baby Listen’s entire purpose is to enable parents to be able to hear and visualize the fetus’ heartbeat. The recorded video file can be emailed or posted on social media for friends and other family members. While the fetal doppler doesn’t provide clinical data, hearing the sounds of new life can certainly enhance the waiting time.