TLT announces early research breakthrough in foetal heart monitoring

23 February 2012. Welwyn Garden City, UK. – Tarilian Laser Technologies which recently announced a revolutionary advance in blood pressure measurement with its unique optical sensor platform, has now also innovated further with the development of a ground-breaking early research prototype for a foetal heart monitoring sensor.

The foetal heart rate has been used as an indicator of foetal well-being for over 160 years, becoming a routine part of clinical practice in obstetrics around the world. Currently there are two principal methods of foetal heart monitoring: intermittent auscultation and continuous monitoring. Current technologies for these are bulky, sometimes variable in accuracy and cumbersome to use. Tarilian Laser Technologies intends to develop a unique and highly sensitive and accurate single optoelectronic sensor for both intermittent auscultation and continuous monitoring applications in obstetrics.

The TLT device uses a unique optical technique to deliver a continuous beat-to-beat foetal heart rate measurement which is truly non-invasive, as no energy enters the mother’s body. The sensor, which will look like a simple “elastoplast” also offers the following advantages over current technologies:

  • increased mobility for the mother, as the device is a simple plaster that can be applied by the mother to her abdomen;
  • ease of application as the sensor is not position sensitive;
  • wireless connectivity to other devices for recording and transmission of data.

In 2009, TLT won a significant grant from the East of England Development Authority (EEDA) for its early research into this application. Subsequent to the successful completion of this proof-of-principle research, TLT is now committed to the development of further prototypes and full clinical assessment.

Commenting on the success of this research, Dr Sandeep Shah, CEO of TLT, said, “The key sets of historical innovations in obstetrics occurred many many years ago with the giant figures of Joseph Lister and Ignaz Semmelweis in the 1800s, through to the last century with Ian Donald and Tom Brown and their discoveries around ultrasound.

“The TLT team is very excited about this ‘new century development’ and the potential we have of further improving global outcomes in pregnancy with our unique optical sensor that can be simply applied by the mother and deliver very powerful data about the baby to the midwife and doctor, including continuous beat-to-beat foetal heart monitoring.

“The telemetric opportunities are also powerful and we have opened discussions with a number of international companies to take this forward, as we launch our latest new division of TLT Sapphire, and a powerful new paradigm in foetal medicine.”

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