Perinatal IT and Mobile Devices

Sharon Carpinello

Healthcare trends show the demand for Perinatal IT systems to support mobile devices continues to increase.1  This is one trend I am very excited to see!  I remember when I was working night shift on Labor and Delivery and how we all dreaded an “ugly” fetal monitor strip.  First the page to the MD and then the telephone call since the page was not answered, feeling bad calling them at 3 a.m. realizing now the whole family is now awake, and then trying to explain in detail how that baby was looking through that fetal monitor strip.  Those conversations were painful.

How do you explain in enough detail, with enough urgency to assure the critical message is received?   Soon calls/pages turned into a combination of that call/page with faxing of the fetal monitor strip.  How many minutes of the fetal strip could be faxed at one time?  Will the fax machine actual work, since half the time it was not working well.  Would the MD have their machine plugged in?   Would that torn off strip actually end up in that patient’s chart or would it end up lost?   The memories of these calls and faxes, at one time or another, may still haunt us by the outcomes…

A study from Cisco Visual Network Index2 shared that “global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016” that means in potentially a year “there will be 10 billion mobile devices in use around the world.”3    Thankfully in Labor and Delivery we have already seen the impact of mobile devices and their ability to help enhance communication in those critical times we have all experienced. How much easier it is now to text the MD and request to request a remote review of  the fetal strip on their mobile device. Just think how this trend will continue to enhance workflows in the future.   Think how they can help with remote areas not only here, but globally that have limited access to healthcare providers or specialists.  It will be exciting to monitor this healthcare trend over the next few years.

GE Healthcare Centricity Perinatal is keeping up with this trend through the continued enhancements of our fetal surveillance remote access module, Centricity™ Perinatal Web.   We understand that every minute can count in Labor and Delivery and that it is critical that the Perinatal IT system supports your mobile device when and where you need it most.⁴


  1. IHS Medical Devices and Healthcare IT, Perinatal IT 2014.  IHS August 2014.
  2. Issues in Technology Innovation, number 18, May 2012.  How Mobile Devices are Transforming Healthcare, Darrell West.
  3. “Cisco Visual Networking Index, “Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011-2016”, February 14, 2012, pp. 1-3.
  4. Where internet is available

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