Development of a Smart Mobile Data Module for Fetal Monitoring in E-Healthcare

  • Agathe Houzé de l’Aulnoit
  • Samuel Boudet
  • Michaël Génin
  • Pierre-François Gautier
  • Jessica Schiro
  • Denis Houzé de l’Aulnoit
  • Régis Beuscart
Mobile & Wireless Health
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile & Wireless Health


The fetal heart rate (FHR) is a marker of fetal well-being in utero (when monitoring maternal and/or fetal pathologies) and during labor. Here, we developed a smart mobile data module for the remote acquisition and transmission (via a Wi-Fi or 4G connection) of FHR recordings, together with a web-based viewer for displaying the FHR datasets on a computer, smartphone or tablet. In order to define the features required by users, we modelled the fetal monitoring procedure (in home and hospital settings) via semi-structured interviews with midwives and obstetricians. Using this information, we developed a mobile data transfer module based on a Raspberry Pi. When connected to a standalone fetal monitor, the module acquires the FHR signal and sends it (via a Wi-Fi or a 3G/4G mobile internet connection) to a secure server within our hospital information system. The archived, digitized signal data are linked to the patient’s electronic medical records. An HTML5/JavaScript web viewer converts the digitized FHR data into easily readable and interpretable graphs for viewing on a computer (running Windows, Linux or MacOS) or a mobile device (running Android, iOS or Windows Phone OS). The data can be viewed in real time or offline. The application includes tools required for correct interpretation of the data (signal loss calculation, scale adjustment, and precise measurements of the signal’s characteristics). We performed a proof-of-concept case study of the transmission, reception and visualization of FHR data for a pregnant woman at 30 weeks of amenorrhea. She was hospitalized in the pregnancy assessment unit and FHR data were acquired three times a day with a Philips Avalon® FM30 fetal monitor. The prototype (Raspberry Pi) was connected to the fetal monitor’s RS232 port. The emission and reception of prerecorded signals were tested and the web server correctly received the signals, and the FHR recording was visualized in real time on a computer, a tablet and smartphones (running Android and iOS) via the web viewer. This process did not perturb the hospital’s computer network. There was no data delay or loss during a 60-min test. The web viewer was tested successfully in the various usage situations. The system was as user-friendly as expected, and enabled rapid, secure archiving. We have developed a system for the acquisition, transmission, recording and visualization of RCF data. Healthcare professionals can view the FHR data remotely on their computer, tablet or smartphone. Integration of FHR data into a hospital information system enables optimal, secure, long-term data archiving.


Smart device Fetal monitoring Archiving Fetal heart rate recording 



We thank Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for loaning equipment and Alicante SA (Seclin, France) for providing IT services.


This project was funded by the French government’s AVIESAN research program on smart devices (N°2016–017), with BlueGriot SAS as an industrial partner.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author A. Houzé de l’Aulnoit declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author S. Boudet declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author M. Génin declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author PF. Gautier declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author J. Schiro declares that she has no conflict of interest. Author R. Beuscart declares that he has no conflict of interest. Author D. Houzé de l’Aulnoit declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from the participant included in the proof of concept.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Univ Nord de France; CHU LilleLilleFrance
  2. 2.Obstetrics Department, Lille Catholic HospitalLille Catholic UniversityLilleFrance
  3. 3.Biomedical Signal Processing Unit (UTSB)Lille Catholic UniversityLilleFrance
  4. 4.Univ Nord de France; INSERM, CHU LilleLilleFrance

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