Comprehensive pregnancy monitoring with a network of wireless, soft, and flexible sensors in high-and low-resource health settings

Dennis Ryu, Dong Hyun Kim, Joan T. Price, Jong Yoon Lee, Ha Uk Chung, Emily Allen, Jessica R. Walter, Hyoyoung Jeong, Jingyue Cao, Elena Kulikova, Hajar Abu-Zayed, Rachel Lee, Knute L. Martell, Michael Zhang, Brianna R. Kampmeier, Marc Hill, Joo Hee Lee, Edward Kim, Yerim Park, Hokyung JangHany Arafa, Claire Liu, Maureen Chisembele, Bellington Vwalika, Ntazana Sindano, M. Bridget Spelke, Amy S. Paller, Ashish Premkumar, William A. Grobman, Jeffrey S.A. Stringer*, John A. Rogers*, Shuai Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Vital signs monitoring is a fundamental component of ensuring the health and safety of women and newborns during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. This monitoring is often the first step in early detection of pregnancy abnormalities, providing an opportunity for prompt, effective intervention to prevent maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Contemporary pregnancy monitoring systems require numerous devices wired to large base units; at least five separate devices with distinct user interfaces are commonly used to detect uterine contractility, maternal blood oxygenation, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and fetal heart rate. Current monitoring technologies are expensive and complex with implementation challenges in low-resource settings where maternal morbidity and mortality is the greatest. We present an integrated monitoring platform leveraging advanced flexible electronics, wireless connectivity, and compatibility with a wide range of low-cost mobile devices. Three flexible, soft, and low-profile sensors offer comprehensive vital signs monitoring for both women and fetuses with time-synchronized operation, including advanced parameters such as continuous cuffless blood pressure, electrohysterography-derived uterine monitoring, and automated body position classification. Successful field trials of pregnant women between 25 and 41 wk of gestation in both highresource settings (n = 91) and low-resource settings (n = 485) demonstrate the system's performance, usability, and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2100466118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 18 2021


  • Biosensors
  • Pregnancy
  • Vital signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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