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Mobile Obstetrical Monitoring -- MOM -- is a Philips contribution to mother-and-child healthcare
 
Bringing up baby -- safely!

Indian engineers  at Philips have created  an  entire ecosystem  to  ensure  a healthy mother and child
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, June 6 2016: Wellness begins in the womb.  Evolving global awareness of  health  hazards has triggered medical thinking  that   care for a baby  must begin even before it is born --  and  it  becomes critical in  the first hours after birth.  A rapidly deteriorating air quality  poses  additional hazards well into a child's early years.
At its annual showcase last week,  doctors and engineers of the Philips Innovation Centres (PICs) in Bangalore and Pune joined  to unveil  a complete ecosystem of  solutions to ensure the health of a child (and the mother). Every product was developed in India and many are  to be  manufactured in the country,  for domestic and international markets.
One of the latest tools to flow from PIC, is the Fetal Heart Rate Monitor, a handy, battery-driven  system, with a built-in loudspeaker, that  enables a health worker to listen to the heart beat of the fetus  and detect any abnormality. The  device is  part of the arsenal  developed  for  Auxilliary Nurse-Midwives or "Asha"  workers  in India, to do Mobile Obstetrical Monitoring (MOM) , especially in rural areas .  To help them collect and transmit the data on the mother-to-be's well being,  without any paperwork, the  Asha behns  use an app which works on the most basic Android  phone.  
The first two hours after birth are the most critical for a child, especially one that is born prematurely.  In earlier years   PIC scientists have created  the Efficia range of infant warmers and incubators  for babies born 26 to 30 weeks  ahead of term. The warmer almost resembles  the pouch in which a kangaroo nurtures her young!
 To prevent  jaundice after birth, it is necessary to monitor  what is known as bilirubin -- but pricking a new born infant can be traumatic, so they have created  an LED device, called BiliChek that can be attached externally to the forehead.... and a BiliTx, an LED embedded blanket in which the baby can be swaddled.  India loses over 3 lakh babies every year in the early hours and days after birth -- and these tools aim to bring that number down. The Efficia range and some of these products  for  premature babies  have since been technology-transferred to other manufacturers.
In the early years of a baby, pneumonia has loomed as an increasing hazard. Philips   has developed a  respiration monitor that can be strapped to the child's chest to monitor breathing and set off an alarm in case of abnormality. The Made-in-India device has been used with great success in Africa since October last -- and an updated version will soon be released  to manufacturing  here, very shortly.
World Environment Day, yesterday brought its annual quota of scares  about the poor air quality in so many Indian metros -- exceeding  WHO-prescribed level for  PM or particulate matter-- dust, soot, smoke. PM2.5 or particles smaller than 2.5 microns ( a human hair is  100 microns thick -- or  40 times larger)  are particularly  dangerous since they straight into the lungs. And you are not safe just because you remain indoors.
Which is why many parents of small children or  those  with old people at home, are turning to indoor air purifiers to neutralize  airborne hazards. Last week Philips launched the  Series 3000 indoor air purifier -- the newest in a range, that will  soon be manufactured in India.  It is by no means the only such  solution in the market. But it is arguably the only one that is part of a continuum of tools and solutions, crafted in the country  that  help children stay  safe  in their most vulnerable years, from womb to nursery.

 




    


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