In 2006, Trig Medical, out of Yokneam, Israel, won an award for its visionary (literally) new system, LaborPro, which provides doctors, nurses, and patients with a better window into the birthing process. Just this month, the company has raised several million dollars in financing, according to Globes in Israel.
With the "noninvasive" sweep of a computerized finger, a miniature sensor on the tip of the finger takes measurements of head station and cervical dilation, while ultrasound imaging tracks the station and position of the fetus.
A radiation-free pelvimetry is also performed by touching four places on the mother's pelvis, thereby measuring her readiness (or lack thereof) for vaginal birth.
LaborPro is touted as a noninvasive approach that takes more measurements steadily for real time monitoring:
Current obstetrical practice is subject to lack of consistency in the assessment of fetal head station and position during vaginal examinations. This may lead to mismanagement of non-progressive labor, unnecessary cesarean sections or improper use of vacuum and forceps associated with an increased risk of maternal/fetal trauma.
Then, of course, there would be the obvious benefit of making the mother more comfortable with all this additional information, boasts Trig Medical. Sounds probable--unless, of course, that information raises any red flags, as it doesn't appear to be doing in the above image of a seemingly calm and happy mother-to-be.
Trig Medical president and CEO Dr. Yoav Paltieli is a senior physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa. Before founding Trig Medical, he launched UltraGuide, a medical device start-up specializing in image guidance systems, which has "ceased operations," according to Globes. It seems that Trig Medical may enjoy a different fate.
LaborPro is not currently available in the U.S., and the U.S. version of its Web site is under construction.