PregSense Baby Health Monitor - Coming Soon to North America in 2016

The Nuvo Group is currently developing and testing our next revolutionary pregnancy wearable - the PregSense baby health monitor.  This device, a belt worn by the mother, will be able to send key pieces of data to the wearer's smartphone via Bluetooth, which can then be analyzed by the parents or doctors.

Oren Oz, who leads The Nuvo Group, has this to say about the new device:

"Now you can see both you and the baby, the heart and all the data. What you are going to get in the app eventually is visualization that can tell you where the hand is, you're going to see if the baby is awake, you can hear your baby's heartbeat anytime you want and obviously everything about you as the mom, the activity, if you are relaxed, how you sleep, your activity, your heart activity, everything about your pregnancy will be put into data"

The PregSense will be crucial after the 32nd week of pregnancy, when constant monitoring is required. It will play a great role in helping physicians predict and prevent complications, which often require early detection.

Unlike traditional ultrasound doppler devices, which require the mother to lie still while physicians track the heartbeat, the PregSense baby health monitor uses a patented algorithm to divide the signals into two heartbeat recordings.  This method also avoids any potential harm to the tissue that may be caused by extensive use of ultrasonic devices.

The consumer grade version of the PregSense monitor is expected to cost around $250.  There will also be a clinical-grade,  FDA-regulated version of the product for doctors, which should be available in 2016.  

Read more about the PregSense baby health monitor in this featured exclusive by Reuters.

October 12, 2015 by Cal Lupton

Development of the Auditory System from Conception to Term

Found a great article on the Development of the Auditory system from conception to term.  I've attached the article at the bottom of this blog.

Article is by: Robert E. Lasky, PhD, Amber L. Williams

It's pretty detailed, but it gives insight into these areas:

1. Explains when the fetus begins to respond to sound.

2. Describes the type of sounds to which fetuses and extremely preterm newborns initially respond.

3. Explains why the fetus is exposed to low-frequency sounds.

4. Describes the role of the fetal cochlea and the outer and middle ears in response to sound.

5. Compares and contrasts the response to sounds in the fetus of the same postmenstrual age and preterm newborns.



Results of investigations of auditory development in fetuses and infants suggest that:

● Prior to 20 weeks GA, the cochlear partition does not seem capable of the sound-induced movements that are later responsible for the transduction of sound into neural impulses.

● The first responses to sound are recorded between 20 and 25 weeks PMA in the fetus.

● By approximately 30 weeks GA, the peripheral auditory system is mature enough that the sensitivity and frequency resolution of auditory function is relatively adultlike. By term, newborn sensitivity and frequency resolution is nearly indistinguishable from the adult.

● Small outer ear canals and immaturities in the middle ear in newborns (particularly small, preterm newborns) emphasize high frequencies and attenuate low frequencies.

● Although the neural pathway to the auditory cortex is functional when the cochlea becomes capable of responding to sound, myelination and synaptogenesis continue postnatally.

● The uterine environment is dominated by low-frequency sounds generated internally and externally. High frequencies are filtered by maternal tissue.

● The mother’s voice is among the more prominent uterine sounds.

● Because fetuses develop in a fluid environment, their outer and middle ears are not prominently involved in hearing.

● Oxygenation is higher and more variable in the pre-term newborn than the fetus. Consequences of increased oxygenation are an increased auditory sensitivity as well as concerns about toxicity to rapidly developing systems.

● Based on few data, nursery policies have shifted to reducing environmental stimulation to preterm newborns more consistent with the fetal experience.


The Development of the Auditory System from Conception to Term

October 16, 2014 by Brad Sorock

Prenatal Development & Music

There is a great segment on Prenatal Development by Richard Parncutt.

I've attached the full chapter but here are some highlights I found interesting and inspirational to the use of a Ritmo product where music is shared with the mother and child.  Particularly the conclusion recommendations.  

Infants have a wide range of skills that can be described as musical.

What is the origin of those skills? This considers the possibility that they are—at least in part—learned before birth, as the fetus becomes familiar with the internal sound patterns of its mother’s body and associates these patterns with her physical and emotional state. The chapter begins by presenting background information about the fetal sound environment and musically relevant fetal abilities and behaviours that may be related to musical abilities as they emerge after birth. It goes on to consider the question of how to evaluate and reconcile conflicting research findings on prenatal musicality, and concludes with specific, tentative recommendations for expectant mothers or parents interested in the musical development of their fetus. The chapter aims to give readers background material in the controversial area of prenatal musical psychology, so that they can make informed decisions about the validity of published claims for themselves.

The concluding recommendations:

The following recommendations can be made to expectant mothers wishing to support their unborn child’s musical development. Because the empirical evidence is incomplete, the recommendations are necessarily tentative and intuitive.

• General health

Promote general fetal development by eating and exercising wisely. A chronic lack of important nutrients can restrict fetal growth and permanently affect cardiovascular, endocrine, and metabolic systems (Bertram & Hanson, 2002).

• Stress

Restrict stress to reasonable limits. Recent research (cited above) has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that excessive maternal stress is bad for the fetus. Conversely, mild stress is normal and may even promote development (DiPietro, 2004).

• Auditory health

Minimize the chance of hearing problems by avoiding infections. The most common cause of prenatal hearing loss is viral infection by cytomegalovirus or rubella. In Western countries, rubella has become rare due to vaccination (Lagasse et al., 2000). As it is unclear whether prenatal noise affects postnatal hearing, avoid long-term exposure to high sound levels in discos or factories. The fetus may be affected primarily by the stress you feel when exposed to loud sounds; the noise itself may be secondary.

• Music

Listen to and play a lot of music—provided you enjoy the music yourself. The more music the fetus hears, the more it will learn about it, at least in the sense of storing

pitch-time patterns in memory. Maternal enjoyment may also promote the develop-
ment of positive emotional associations to music, and is certainly more important than arbitrary aesthetic judgements of musicologists; ‘classical’ music is not necessarily better (cf. Cook, 1998). However, do not force yourself to play or listen to music, as stress is problematic (see above) and negative connotations may cancel out the positive effect of neutral exposure. Avoid very loud music (see above), but remember that moderately quiet music will be inaudible to the fetus. Some researchers claim that music with a clear beat is preferable and that you should listen to the same music regularly, but the evidence for this is weak.

• Singing

If you enjoy singing, sing. The quality of your singing (e.g., in the sense of staying in tune or in key) doesn’t matter: your fetus is very accommodating! Nor does it matter whether you sing, speak, or something in between. If it helps you to imagine that your fetus is listening, and this makes music making (and listening) more enjoy- able, OK—but be aware that the fetus is unable to reflect on what it hears. Regardless of its prenatal effect, singing to your fetus can give you a headstart on bonding with your baby (Fridman, 2000) and get you into the habit of singing lullabies after the birth, which is musically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially beneficial (cf. Chapter 2, this volume).

• Living

Paradoxically, the best way to promote a child’s musical ability before its birth may be to do nothing specifically musical at all. Just eat, sleep, walk, talk, and experience emotional ups and downs as usual. All these activities produce sound patterns that stimulate the prenatal development of hearing, auditory pattern recognition, and the emotional connotations of sound patterns that underlie music.


Prenatal Development.pdf

March 05, 2014 by Brad Sorock