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Technical Briefs

The Momedemameter: An Affordable Pre-Eclampsia Detector for Low Resource Environments

[+] Author and Article Information
Dianne Pawluk

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 843067, Richmond, VA 23284dtpawluk@vcu.edu

David Burch

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 843067, Richmond, VA 23284burchds@vcu.edu

Jerome F. Strauss

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, P. O. Box 843067, Richmond, VA 23284jfstrauss@vcu.edu

Thomas Peng

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, P. O. Box 843067, Richmond, VA 23284tpeng@mcvh-vcu.edu

Ashley Woodward

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Virginia Commonwealth University, P. O. Box 843067, Richmond, VA 23284awoodward@mcvh-vcu.edu

J. Med. Devices 3(1), 014501 (Jan 15, 2009) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3043791 History: Received February 19, 2008; Revised October 27, 2008; Published January 15, 2009

Pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy-specific disorder, is the third leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. To develop a device to detect pre-eclampsia in pregnant women living in low resource environments, a method was needed that had to be very low cost and, preferably, easily monitored by the woman herself. Due to the high cost and expertise involved in monitoring the two diagnostic criteria of pre-eclampsia (elevated blood pressure and proteinuria), edema, an indicator of pre-eclampsia, was chosen instead. The general principle of the method is to have each pregnant woman, early in pregnancy, fitted, on either her wrist or ankle, with a detection band, which is set to a preset expansion limit (e.g., expansion by 5%). When edema causes that body part to swell to the limit, the pregnant mother knows that she should seek medical assistance. The resulting prototype device and calibration method require little knowledge and are very durable, cost-effective, and portable.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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A calibration band

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