Defense Software Could Make Births Safer -Report
LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists have incorporated defense software used to pick up targets on military radar into a new painless technique that detects problems during labor and could lead to safer births.
The electrocardiogram (ECG) trace developed by the defense research company QinetiQ can record an electrical signal from the heart and indicates if the baby is not getting enough oxygen or has an irregular heartbeat, a science magazine reported.
It can also detect the strength of the mother's contractions, which shows how the labor is progressing.
"The non-invasive system records signals from 12 electrodes on the mother's abdomen, separating out useful components from background noise from muscles other than the heart or interference from electrical equipment," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.
Doctors at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in southwestern England who are testing the device believe it will help to detect early problems during the delivery and help to rule out unnecessary Caesarean deliveries.
A technique called cardiotocography (CTG) is already used during labor but it is not as accurate as the ECG.
"The researchers also found they could measure the mother's contractions directly, using the electrical signals from the muscles," the magazine added.
© Copyright 2003, Reuters
Um. I think this could be useful in very, very high risk birth situations. In normal, low risk situations, however, it's just another way of making chilbirth into an illness, of stealing power from women AGAIN. How much do you want to bet that millions of women will insist on it without question?