We’ve written before about fetal monitors for consumer use at home. In 2015, for example, we wrote about Nuvo Group’s PregSense wireless device that consists of dual bands placed above and below a pregnant mother’s belly. PregSense connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone app and then to a cloud-based platform for analysis. At CES 2016, we saw Comper’s Smart Doppler Fetal Monitor that connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth to monitor a baby’s heartbeat.

This year during CES 2021, Royal Philips highlighted the Avalon COVID-19 Fetal and Maternal monitoring device. The Avalon device is a beltless, cable-free fetal monitoring solution that consists of a maternal pod and adhesive patches. According to a Philips news release, the Avalon COVID-19 product can minimize unnecessary physical contact between clinicians and pregnant women to reduce the chance of infection.

The Avalon device can monitor vital signs of both the baby and the mother. It’s appropriate for use in hospital isolation rooms or at home. The beltless solution uses both ECG and EMG signals for fetal and maternal heart rates and uterine activity. Unlike traditional cable-less transducers, according to Philips, the Avalon solution is appropriate for use with women who have epidural procedures and moms with high body mass index (BMI) ratios. Philips’ COVID-19 Fetal and Maternal monitor works with a standard Philips CL Base Station for conventional wireless transducers so it’s not necessary to add additional connections or interface devices.

Advances like the Philips Avalon beltless fetal monitor are making work in clinical settings more convenient and efficient for both patients and healthcare workers. And they are making remote monitor of patients in their own homes safer and more practical.