New remote non-invasive monitoring solutions for ensuring the health of mothers and babies before and after birth

New remote non-invasive monitoring solutions for ensuring the health of mothers and babies before and after birth

36 months (01/01/2023 – 31/12/2025)

Funding: EU / KDT JU and Business Finland

25M€ total, 1.5M€ University of Turku

Every year more than 140 million new babies are born, of which 15 million are born too early. Complications during birth account for 40 % of perinatal and maternal deaths (over 287 000 worldwide2). In Europe, about 5 million babies are born early, and of these pre-term babies, about 10 % cause a severe cost burden to healthcare – not only due to immediate short-term costs of intensive neonatal care but most importantly, long-term adverse effects life-long complications. Many preterm births could be prevented with careful pregnancy monitoring and early prediction and detection of risks and complications. Many solutions focus on in-hospital settings, but in Newlife we see the need for medically reliable; cost-effective wearable device to be on the market for pregnancy self-monitoring that could enable closer observation, provide reassurance to concerned expectant mothers, and better identify high-risk pregnancies patients.

The NEWLIFE project will answer to the ongoing digital transformation in healthcare from the on-site hospital environment to remote healthcare in the home environment, by demonstrating digital and technological solutions serving both parents and new-borns, securing life in its most vulnerable phase. The target is to follow the P4 approach from medicine (i.e., predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory)4 to develop new solutions, both hardware and software, for accurate measurements and acquisition of vital data, focusing on non-invasive, comfortable, and wearable solutions that are easy to use and sustainable.

The focus is to build solutions for screening and early detection of pregnancy risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, pre-term labour or pre-eclampsia or risk of fetal death, where the healthcare professionals are always integrated into the solution which will enable pre-emptive support and treatment for mothers and their unborn babies. The identified complications might then lead to more detailed, continuous, and personalised monitoring during pregnancy, enabled by novel wearable solutions to be used both at home and hospital care. After birth, babies with identified risks or complications need constant monitoring both in the neonatal hospital care and after discharge, to co-care in hospital environment or at home. Ideally, the same technology and solutions should be available and used both in hospital and home environment to facilitate the move to remote monitoring and ease the data integration.