Fetal Heart Rate Monitor
Philip Goodwin, Stefan Zwahlen, John Hutchinson
A low cost monitor that does not require electricity to use
The Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor (FHRM) is a portable hand-held and hand-crank powered fetal diagnostic device for identifying fetal distress throughout the birthing process. The hand-crank design enables this FHRM to be used in settings without reliable or any electricity. A minute of cranking provides the FHRM with 10 minutes of power.
The Freeplay monitor is created expressly for the harsh conditions of rural and remote settings in the developing world.
Manufactured and distributed by Ultrasound Technologies Ltd via regional distributors in South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and the Americas
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages
Maternal health practitioners, including midwives, OB/GYNs and nurses in resource-constrained settings
Units are batch built and held in stock for future orders. Interview with representative
Trade Secret Interview with representative
Units may be purchased from distributors in respective countries. Interview with representative
532 units have been deployed as of July 2015 Interview with representative
The FreePlay FHRM includes a probe that uses Doppler ultrasound waves to detect the fetal heart. It runs off rechargeable batteries that are inside the device. The batteries may be recharged from three different power sources: mains electricity; manual, wind-up power and solar energy.
The fetal heart can be “heard” on the loudspeaker while the fetal heart rate is shown on the display screen. The fetal monitor is most useful in assessing the condition of the fetus during labour.
The unit features an On/Off Button, LED display screen, flashing heart icon to indicate each heartbeat, loudspeaker, wind-up handle, indicator light that shows power is being generated, connecting lead from monitor to probe, ultrasound probe, and a mains adaptor, power cable, and DC input socket. Weight is <600 grams.
Ultrasound Technologies Staff and reselling partners provide support Interview with representative A self-learning programme for professionals on fetal heart rate monitoring during intrapartum care can be accessed free on www.pet.org.za
Replacement pieces are available from the original supplier, or if user contacts PET (Powerful Education Technology) via email@example.com
A 3-year Warranty is included with FHRM purchase. Interview with representative
• No disposable batteries or power supply required: hand-cranking the charger for 1 minute provides 10 minutes worth of operation.
• Re-chargable batteries can power up to 10 hours when fully charged
• It takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge the batteries. The fetal monitor will operate for ~7 hours continuously before the batteries need recharging again.
Must not be used on a patient when connected to a mains supply
List or none.
David Woods. Appropriate technology and education for improved intrapartum care in under-resourced countries. South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009; 15(3): 78-79.
The FHRM complies with the essential requirements of the European Council Directive 93/42/EEC + 2007/47/EC. Safety Classification: Class 1 Type B – IEC 60601-1
Field testing was conducted in South Africa by the design team. Interview with representative
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