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Achieving enhanced mother
and child care

The role of mobility and miniaturized technologies



corporateblog davidrussell

Improving the well-being of mothers throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum, as well as sick or prematurely born infants, has long been a healthcare priority. As the industry evolves, smarter, smaller and stronger technologies that facilitate advances in mobility are creating exciting changes in care delivery.



Technologies to enable pregnancy and improve outcomes was one of the themes at the recent FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics, where scientists, clinicians, teachers and health professionals gathered to discuss the innovations in clinical procedures, technology and partnerships to improve the way we care for women and children during pregnancy, labor and delivery.

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One of the major trends I’m seeing in this space is enhanced mobility, both for the caregiver as well as the patient. This is quickly becoming a reality as mobile and wireless technologies are becoming smaller, portable and more advanced. From remote fetal and maternal monitoring to wearable sensors and monitoring patches placed on the patient, these kinds of miniaturized technologies make it possible to provide mothers critical freedom of movement during labor that benefits both mother and child.


Research has shown that mothers who can move around and are upright during labor may have reduced duration of labor[1], as well as reduced need for pain relief or labor induction drugs[2]. Studies also reveal less frequent abnormal heart rate patterns for women in upright positions, as well as less pain and backache during labor[3]. As a result, women in labor have the ability to find the most suitable position during birth. At Philips, our Avalon CL Monitoring System is a completely cableless fetal and maternal monitoring solution that provides full mobility, even when bathing, showering or visiting the bathroom, or even during water births.

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Mobility is a benefit for the clinician as well as the patient. Fetal and maternal monitoring information, labor progress charts and details of the labor and delivery are easily accessible either within or outside of the hospital 24/7 with access to near real-time patient information on PCs or mobile devices such as tablets. Philips IntelliSpace Perinatal incorporates this technological capability as an obstetrical information system. The same applies for sick babies in the NICU where exciting solutions such as Philips CareEvent and IntelliVue Mobile Caregiver provide alerts and vital patient data on handheld devices on the go, so clinicians can work together to deliver fast, responsive care to the most vulnerable patients.  


In this evolving era of clinical mobility, care teams are always on the move. Mobile and miniaturized enabling technologies will continue to enhance the experience and mobility of mothers giving birth – and of delivering enhanced care to those who need it most. Mobility for the caregiver and relevant patient population is here to stay, and we as a company are investing heavily in innovation that leads the way there.  


[1] A. Lawrence , L. Lewis, GJ Hofmeyr, T. Dowswell, C. Styles, “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.

[2] Flynn et al., “Ambulating in labour,“ Br Med J. (1978) Aug 26, 2 (6137):591-3.

[3] World Health Organization, “Care in Normal Birth,” (1996): 60 pages.



corporateblog davidrussell

David A Russell


Vice President Global Segment Marketing & Market Intelligence, Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions, Philips Healthcare

David A Russell is Vice President Global Segment Marketing & Market Intelligence within Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions at Philips Healthcare. From 2010-2013, he was Vice President and General Manager of the Mother and Child Care Business at Philips Healthcare. Prior to this role he was Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Patient Care and Clinical Informatics at Philips Healthcare. Mr Russell is currently based in Böblingen, Germany at the Philips Medical Systems Böblingen GmbH facility.


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