As a father, I have loved seeing my children grow into mature and independent adults. There’s something incredibly special about seeing your children leave the nest and start the next chapter of their lives. As the chief executive of West Health, I have been fortunate enough to have some of those same feelings when it comes to the progress of Sense4Baby, one of the first technologies researched at our organization.
Ever since the Sense4Baby technology was licensed to AirStrip early last year, we’ve seen the adoption of this technology move by leaps and bounds, and we couldn’t be happier.
When we first created the initial Sense4Baby technology, a wireless system to perform non-stress testing for high-risk pregnancies, the prototypes were put together by hand in our research engineering lab with radio crystals to find a baby’s heartbeat in the mother’s womb. It was a labor of love and proved an important concept – that we could move data instead of patients to potentially make healthcare delivery more efficient.
But to bring that technology into the hands of mothers everywhere, the system needed to be a part of a broader venture.
The Gary and Mary West Health Institute took the first step and licensed the maternal/fetal monitoring technology to Sense4Baby, Inc., in September 2012. By the end of 2013, the company secured regulatory clearances in the U.S. and Europe.
Ultimately, getting the technology into the hands of expectant mothers around the world required an entity with large-scale manufacturing capabilities, global reach and extensive experience in the maternal monitoring space.
We were thrilled when the Sense4Baby technology found that home in AirStrip, who has taken the technology and run with it. In March of 2014, Sense4Baby Inc.’s assets were acquired by, and the Sense4Baby technology licensed to AirStrip, a San Antonio-based medical technology company that is an established leader in the maternal marketplace, and involved in the prenatal monitoring of one-sixth of the nation’s babies. AirStrip’s interoperable technology lets doctors use their mobile devices to monitor a hospital patient’s vital signs from outside the hospital, making the Sense4Baby technology a perfect fit.
Less than a year later, AirStrip launched the Sense4Baby system in 13 European countries, and laid out plans to bring the technology to 10 countries in Africa, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Most significantly, today AirStrip announced it had received FDA clearance for patient self-administration of the system, and that the University of Utah was going to research integrating home-based Sense4Baby monitoring into the healthcare system while evaluating patient and provider satisfaction, costs and benefits.
It’s been amazing to see our research turn into global action to deliver care more effectively. The West Health ecosystem has always been about driving outcomes that improve care and lower costs, and we’re happy to see how well AirStrip has done in helping this technology achieve bigger and better things, one step at a time.
We’re so pleased that a research proposal we had at the Institute was nurtured to the technology that exists today – one that will help give many more pregnant women access to this pioneering, low-cost technology. AirStrip has demonstrated that this innovative healthcare technology makes it possible for a care provider to monitor a patient anywhere, transitioning care sites away from costly hospital settings. That’s great news for expectant – and proud – parents everywhere.