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Dr. Michael House receives COVID-19 Seed Fund Award

A headshot of Dr. Michael House Dr. Alissa Dangel is an OBGYN in Boston at Tufts Medical Center.MIRI PI Dr. Michael House and his team members Drs. Alissa Dangel and Andrew Polio received a COVID-19 Rapid Response Seed Funding Grant. This new funding program is intended to fast track innovative research proposals that directly address the urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the category of clinical practice and telemedicine, their awarded project was entitled, “Reducing the Stress Associated with Performing Non-stress tests – Evaluating potential acceptance for home-based monitoring.” 

Transitioning traditional in-person aspects of prenatal care such as non-stress tests to a home-based environment has not been explored, likely related to the complexity associated with placing the monitoring device itself.  Non-stress tests monitor the fetal heartbeat continuously for 20 minutes with an external fetal monitor that is placed by a medical professional on the maternal abdomen. One device that is currently in development is focused on re-designing the monitor such that it would be able to be placed by the patient themselves. For successful implementation of remote non-stress tests, a knowledge base regarding how patients and providers would perceive this possible transition to home-based care must be created and subsequently analyzed. The study aims to gather information that can inform how to approach home-based non-stress tests; the likelihood that a test would result in a patient needing clinical care acutely via a retrospective chart review and the perspective of patients who would potentially undergo home-based testing with a prospective survey. This will provide the foundation of information needed so that when technology to perform at-home non-stress tests becomes available, it can be implemented in an effective and optimal manner.