Detecting fetal and maternal heart rates

The new Philips Avalon CL’s cable-less design enables mothers to move more freely during labour and uses Smart Pulse technology to automatically detect the coincidence between maternal pulse and foetal heart rate, even for twins and triplets.

Photo: Detecting fetal and maternal heart rates

Conventional foetal monitoring solutions often present limitations for physicians and patients. Studies show that upright positions and walking are associated with a reduction in the length of the first stage of labour and women in upright positions may be less likely to have an epidural. Further to this, observational studies suggest that maintaining a supine position in labour may have adverse physiological effects on the mother and her baby (Lawrence A, Lewis L, Hofmeyr GJ, Dowswell T, Styles C. Maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003934. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003934.pub2).  ‘With Avalon CL, mothers can reap the benefits of mobility by having more flexibility to move during labour due to its cable-less design and consistent monitoring ability,’ Philips reports.

One of the world’s first installations of the new cable-less technology took place in the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Assistant Divisional Director of Midwifery, Dawn Morrall, said: ‘We want to ensure that mothers-to-be and their babies benefit from the advantages of being mobile and upright in labour, while also providing the best possible birth experience.’

This hospital now has six Avalon CL units throughout the hospital’s delivery suite. The team will also conduct a year-long research project, M.U.M. (Mums Up & Mobile) which will provide invaluable insights on the benefits of making labour more mobile and help better inform decisions for women giving birth, and their babies.

 Among Avalon CL features:

  • Coincidence detection: The Smart Pulse technology allows continuous coincidence detection between the mother’s pulse and baby’s foetal heart rate, or rates if there are multiples, without any additional transducers or cables, allowing clinicians to provide more accurate recognition and intervention.
  • Increased mobility and flexibility during labour: By removing cables, Avalon CL is more mobile and flexible, allowing women to find their most comfortable position to best manage contractions during the birth.
  • Enhanced monitoring under water: The system can be submerged under water for up to five hours for continuous monitoring, even with twins and triplets.

High risk deliveries

‘The system transmits foetal and maternal vital signs information to a monitor via the base station,’ the manufacturer explains. ‘From there, patient information can be transferred seamlessly to the Philips IntelliSpace Perinatal information management system, which tracks medical information across the obstetrical care continuum – from the first antepartum visit to delivery, postpartum, new-born record, discharge and postpartum follow-up visits.’

Further details:



Philips is at Medica 
Hall 10 / Stands A22 & B22


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