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.