The AI-infused foetal monitoring device poised to save lives

Stuart Mason

When Dr Sarah McDonald was 31 weeks pregnant in 2013, she spent a week in hospital ahead of undergoing a C-section. During this time, she was monitored with a CTG, which impacted her ability to move and added to the trauma of the experience.

Thankfully Dr McDonald’s baby was born safely.

But the traumatic event motivated Dr McDonald to investigate why there hasn’t been any significant innovations in maternal foetal monitoring in more than 50 years.

She soon discovered that pregnant women are being monitored with technologies that are similar to what were used on their grandmothers.

Baymatob founder and chief visionary officer Sarah McDonald

There is an ongoing maternal health crisis around the world. In the US, 2.4 times more mothers are dying during pregnancy compared with 30 years ago, and globally 2.6 million babies die each year from stillbirth.

Every seven minutes someone around the world dies from postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). And in Australia, one in five mothers experience some degree of PPH, which has the potential to be debilitating or fatal.

Dr McDonald developed Oli, a wearable device using innovative sensor technology and artificial intelligence interpretation to detect a pending PPH during labour, before the bleeding starts. This aims to give at least one hour’s notice prior to birth that a pregnant woman is likely to experience a PPH, crucial extra time that could save their life and the life of their baby.

Dr McDonald developed the technology while completing her PhD in Medicine at the University of Sydney, and founded the company Baymatob to commercialise the medtech tool.

Baymatob is creating AI-guided solutions to improve health outcomes for mothers and their babies.

Baymatob’s Oli is a finalist in the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence in the Health Tech category. You can purchase tickets to the black-tie event at the Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday November 1 here.

The Oli tool is the only product to be able to identify people who are at a higher risk of developing PPH before they actually give birth, and aims to save lives and reduce the occurrences of irreversibly debilitating outcomes, such as emergency hysterectomies.

The current market consists of devices that only detect maternal and foetal heart rates and uterine activity. Oli also provides early warning of these conditions so that a patient only needs to wear one device.

Baymatob is also exploring the use of its technology by veterinarians, and an equine animal trial has already been undertaken.

The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

Protecting your great ideas with intellectual property (IP) rights can lead to lasting benefits for your growing business. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work. Head to the IP Australia website to find out more about IP, and how it might help your business.

Reserve your place at the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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