You might remember Nuvo from its prenatal music system released back in 2010, but the company's latest efforts, known as the Ritmo Beats and PregSense, are decidedly more ambitious. The two products are aimed at consumer and medical users respectively, and are designed to provide in-depth pregnancy data to both parents and doctors.
While fetal monitoring is usually handled by ultrasound-based technology, that method isn't suited to long-term applications, and can only collected limited data. Nuvo's alternative involves placing numerous passive sensors in a wearable product, combining it with cloud computing to make pregnancy more transparent to both parents and their doctors.
The Ritmo Beats is the consumer version of the product, and carries multiple acoustic and ECG sensors to provide mothers with real-time data on their unborn child's cardiac activity. The collected raw data is processed live in the cloud using patented algorithms, with the consumer buying live processing time by the hour. Users will be able to access the data on their smartphone or through the company's website, where they can record and share the baby's heartbeat with friends and family.
The PregSense is the medical-grade version of the product. According to the company, most of the differences happen in the background, with the device itself carrying the same array of sensors. While the data provided to Ritmo Beats users is limited to a level that's appropriate for consumer wellness use, PregSense will provide doctors with a wide range of stats, from the heart rates of the mother and fetus, to kicks, sleep state and contractions. The company intends to have the product approved by regulatory bodies, and will provide less restricted access to the cloud platform.
The consumer-focused Ritmo Beats will launch first, hitting shelves in Q4 2015 for a targeted price of US$250. According to the company, that price includes 1-2 hours of live cloud monitoring per day. The medical-grade PregSense wearable is scheduled to launch in 2016, though no pricing information has yet been made available.
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