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July 21, 2010

Hopkins students design device to prevent premature births

A group of brainiac Johns Hopkins graduate students have developed a device to detect a woman's likelihood of delivering a premature baby.

The CervoCheck is a small ring embedded with sensors that picks up electrical signals associated with uterine contractions. The ring is designed to be embedded in a woman's vaginal canal at a physician's office or hospital.

The device has only been tested on animals at this point. But the students have obtained a provisional patent on the device.

There are about 500,000 premature births in the United States each year, according to The National Center for Health Statistics. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, while a preterm baby is delivered before 37 weeks.

Preterm babies may experience complications and health problems. The births can also result in more costly medical bills.

The students, who studied biomedical engineering, said that current technology doesn't detect preterm labor until it's too far along. By that time medications can only delay the birth by a few days.

They believe their device can detect the likelihood of early labor sooner and prolong the pregnancy by as much as six weeks. Cost savings could be as much as $44,000 per patient, the students believe.

The students who invented the CervoCheck system were, from left, Karin Hwang, Chris Courville, Deepika Sagaram and Rose Huang. They have all recently received their graduate degrees from Hopkins. Photo courtesy of the University of Louisville Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition.

preterm birth hopkins students

Posted by Andrea Walker at 11:27 AM | | Comments (3)
        

Comments

yeah...it's called vitamin D health!

Maintain serum 25 OH D at 50 ng/ml, year round and throughout pregnancy and cut your chance of premature birth by morethan 50%.

Waht your- your Ob/Gyn never told you that?

Look it up!

i had a 30 wk baby .it was an abruption.i knew early on something was wrong.i wasn't hungry or gaining weight but my dr kept assuring me all was well.it was undetermined what the cause was.in my sono report i did see a statement by the tech that no abruption was noticed so that tells me the dr knew something but kept it to himself.i hadd a 9lb baby before her w toxemia and he let me go past 40 wks so i should have never chose him for my 2nd child.i went on to have 4 vbacs at umms in baltimore,successful since i was watched closely and went to thier fetal care center.
eating right and not smoking anfd taking vitamins is crucial and i tool baby asprin with the last 4 which is what i believe played a part in the sucess.

If the use of this device can prevent some of the the life long complications of premature birth, it could save significantly more money for health care systems and patients for that matter. The idea is certainly sound and the implementation will need to be refined.

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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