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Maternal health monitor

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The development of home-based and point-of-care maternal health diagnostic devices to enable maternal health monitoring for individuals residing in maternity care deserts to ultimately reduce severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality.

Project Overview

As per the World Health Organization, maternal death refers to the death of a woman during pregnancy or within 42 days after pregnancy termination. This includes cases related to or worsened by pregnancy or its management, excluding accidental or incidental factors. The maternal mortality rates have been on the rise in the United States, being 20.1 deaths per 100,000 births in 2019, 23.8 in 2020, and 32.9 deaths in 2021 [1]. Many of the postpartum complications are due to cardiovascular problems, hemorrhaging, infections, and high blood pressure. Women facing pregnancy-related health complications may not consistently identify the initial indicators of their condition, which contributes to more severe and life-threatening outcomes. Most infections and postpartum complications that lead to maternal death can occur after birth and hospital discharge, which hinder the detection of these conditions. The team’s motivation this year is to create a point-of-care device that can monitor biomarkers for conditions that lead to maternal mortality and help diagnose life-threatening postpartum infections before it is too late.

Throughout this project, the team will be identifying key biomarkers that are associated with postpartum conditions and developing a maternal health monitoring app that allows users to input their symptoms into the app and receive health reports, recommendations, and other important information. The team plans to target conditions including cardiovascular diseases, preeclampsia, hemorrhage, and sepsis. This product should be a user-friendly application that can be used by individuals without detailed technical knowledge. The device should request updates to monitor health conditions to inform timely return to maternity care when necessary. This product will improve maternal healthcare and allow postpartum individuals and clinicians to be alerted to early signs of harm.

[1] “Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2021,” Mar. 16, 2023. (accessed Sep. 17, 2023).

Team Picture

Left to right: Jeremy Kolasa, Brendan Doherty, Samantha RusselHapp, Elise Dietmann
Left to right: Jeremy Kolasa, Brendan Doherty, Samantha RusselHapp, Elise Dietmann

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Jeremy Kolasa - Co-Team Leader
  • Samantha RusselHapp - Co-Team Leader
  • Brendan Doherty - Communicator & BSAC
  • Elise Dietmann - BWIG & BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Prof. Walter Block - Advisor
  • Prof. Filiz Yesilkoy - Client

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