Utah Patent of the Month – May 2022

Pulse oximetry provided a huge leap forward in the world of non-invasive health monitoring. While this tech makes it possible to measure oxygen levels simply using light beams to estimate the oxygen saturation of the blood, more technological advances are needed. Owlet Baby Care, Inc. has been designing and developing a device capable of non-invasively measuring a fetal heart rate.

This system uses an abdominal electrocardiogram processing system. Both the maternal and fetal heart rate are captured in a combined electrocardiogram measurement. This combined measurement is then transformed into a wavelet and separates an estimated maternal heart rate, leaving just the fetal heart rate. 

The maternal heart rate estimation is done using a maternal heart rate template. The template and the measured rate are compared to identify similar peaks. Once identified, a probabilistic search is performed to determine the likelihood of this estimate being accurate. Adjustments are made to improve the accuracy of the estimate before using this to cancel out the maternal heart rate in the combined measurement. The remaining data shows the heart rate of the fetus, allowing for accurate measurements without needing any invasive measures.

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