Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring And Interpretation By Microcomputer

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In 1982, a system for the continuous, direct processing and display of electronic fetal monitoring data from four separate patients was installed at Sinai Hospital of Detroit. As described in this Journal in 1983, the basic system consisted of an Apple IITM microcomputer, with accessories readily available at local computer stores. This software-hardware configuration permitted display of the monitor tracings at the central unit and at remote locations throughout the labor and delivery areas. Printed copies, similar in quality to the bedside originals, were produced on a graphic printer. The computer is now programmed to also interpret this graphic information. Numeric displays of fetal heart rate baseline and variability are updated every two minutes. Warnings of uterine hypertonus, fetal heart rate bradycardia, tachcardia, poor signal quality, and disconnected leads are displayed. Fetal heart rate decelerations are classified by the program as late, variable, early, or late-variable, and designated on the display screen.

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