New invention: Optical fetal heart rate detection (OFHR) system

An inventor from Malaysia presented at the Brussels Innova Invention Fair 2013 his invention: Optical fetal heart rate detection (OFHR) system.


In this invention, a low-power (<68 mW) optical technique is proposed for transabdominal FHR detection using near-infrared photoplesthysmography (PPG). A beam of IR-LED (890) propagates through the maternal abdomen and fetal tissues, resulting in a mixed signal detected by a low-noise detector situated at a distance of4 cm. After synchronous detection, the mixed signal is processed by an adaptive filter to extract the fetal signal, whereas the PPG from the mother’s index finger is the reference input. The graphical user interface will be developed in this study to produce a user-friendly interface for medical doctors. Finally, a total of 24 data sets were acquired from six subjects at 37±2 gestational weeks from the University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre. A correlation coefficient of 0.97 (p-value < 0.001) between optical and ultrasound FHR was obtained with a maximum error of 4 %. Clinical results indicate that positioning the probe over the nearest fetal tissues (not restricted to head or buttocks) improves signal quality and therefore detection accuracy.         

This invention has a potential for broad international application for intrapartum assessment in obstetrics. The inventor is interested in commercialization of its invention and is seeking appropriate interested manufacturer.

EPO Patent Registration Services and Consulting GmbH has made direct contact with the inventor and has access to information about the invention directly from the inventor. Interested parties for the invention can contact EPO Patent Registration at