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Research project

Fetal heart rate, fetal movement and uterine contraction detection using e-textiles

Project overview

Monitoring of maternal contractions, fetal heart and movement is fundamental in ensuring the health and safety of the developing fetus. Currently, uterine and fetal monitoring is performed by rigid tocodynamometer systems fixed to the maternal abdomen with straps attached to wires linked to a bulky base unit. This limits maternal movement, so monitoring is usually performed only in labour. Newer home monitoring systems use sticky hydrogel electrodes with rigid electronics limiting user comfort. The current monitoring systems only allow a snapshot measurement over a fixed time frame and the woman is confined to a specific location (home or hospital) and thus have limited mobility.

The SIAH fund brings together a multiciliary team from four faculties to develop an e-textile with integrated thin and flexible electrodes for monitoring. These sensing electrodes are comfortable to wear and flexible. They are integrated into fabric that can be made into a discreet wearable garment worn under normal clothing. This allows monitoring in a longitudinal manner, anytime and anywhere.


Lead researcher

Doctor Kai Yang

Associate Professor in Textile Design

Research interests

  • Electronic textile materials and manufacturing
  • Wearable medical devices (e.g. stroke rehabilitation, pain management)

Connect with Kai

Other researchers

Professor Ying Cheong

Professor of Reproductive Medicine

Connect with Ying

Doctor Russel Torah BEng, MSc, PhD

Associate Professor

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Professor Diego Altamirano


Connect with Diego

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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