Indian researchers from the LNM Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan have developed Bluetooth technology for use in prenatal monitoring. After testing the technology compared to traditional monitoring, the results are 98-percent accurate, according to a report published in the International Journal of Computers in Healthcare.

Bluetooth monitoring reduces the number of interventions needed during prenatal monitoring, but the benefits of reducing the number of interventions is not discussed in the journal. There is, however, another benefit that may prove the system worthwhile. Information collected by the Bluetooth monitor can be transmitted to a personal computer for monitoring. How far the Bluetooth reaches and how many monitors can be watched from the same personal computer are factors that need to be taken into consideration before this technology is accepted by mainstream physicians.

According to the article, the monitor was used on 33 pregnant women. There is no mention of the monitor being used specifically during labor, but there is mention of it being used at various times during the pregnancy.

There is little doubt that technology in healthcare will continue to change and advance to the point that many monitoring devices will eventually be hands-free, wireless and able to transmit diagnostic information anywhere in the world in a fraction of a second, but the safety, security and viability of such technology has yet to be tested or established.

It is important to note that Bluetooth technology uses the same technology as wireless Internet and cell phones. These technologies are on the cusp of research for use in pregnancy. There are studies that claim negative side effects and others studies that show no signs of negative side effects. There are wireless Internet systems running everyone, including grocery stores, fast food restaurants and coffee shops.

Source: The International Journal of Computers in Healthcare. May 2012.

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