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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

Professor Kai Yang


Research interests

  • Electronic textile materials and manufacturing
  • Wearable medical devices (e.g. stroke rehabilitation, pain management)
  • Digital healthcare
Connect with Kai
Other researchers

Professor Ying Cheong

Professor of Reproductive Medicine
Connect with Ying

Dr Russel Torah BEng, MSc, PhD

Associate Professor
Connect with Russel

Professor Diego Altamirano

Connect with Diego

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Tom Greig, Kate Jopling, Zackery Irving, Diego Altamirano, Helen Perry, Ying Cheong, Russel Torah & Kai Yang, 2024, Engineering Proceedings, 52(1)
Type: article