Taking some of the guesswork out of giving birth

An Israeli medical company that has won awards for its noninvasive labor-monitoring technology raises several million dollars in financing.

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
2 min read
LaborPro is touted as a noninvasive approach to monitoring labor. Trig Medical

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.