2016 London Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Moyo Fetal Heart Rate Monitor [DRAFT]



Gold Winner 

Project Overview

Easy to use fetal heart rate monitor that quickly and reliably detects fetal heart rate.
Moyo is an affordable fetal heart rate monitor designed for intermittant and prolonged monitoring in low-resource settings. With a 9-crystal sensor, Moyo picks up fetal heart rate in a wide area and detects rate in less than 5 seconds. Moyo enables birth attendants to make appropriate obstetric interventions and eases the workload without interrupting existing routines. To increase reliability of the detected heart rate, Moyo also measures maternal heart rate. Moyo is lightweight and portable so the mother can wear and move freely. Moyo gives a visible and audible alarm for the health worker and/or mother when fetal heart rate is not normal.


Laerdal Global Health (LGH)

Project Brief

Intrapartum hypoxia (often equated with birth asphyxia) is estimated to account for about two million perinatal deaths annually including intrapartum stillbirths and early neonatal deaths, with 98-99% of the burden in low-and middle income countries.

Continuous electronic FHR monitoring is the “gold standard” for identifying fetuses at high risk in the developed world, but this method is neither available nor feasible in resource limited settings. Intermittent FHR monitoring with a Pinnard is the alternative and most frequent method in these settings, but evidence concerning reliability and/or efficacy is almost non-existent. In addition, Pinnards are reported to be difficult to use, to be time-consuming and painful for the mother.

Project Innovation/Need

Moyo can perform both continuous and intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring and when it detects abnormal fetal heart rate, it alerts the healthcare provider. This helps for early intervention and greater control over multiple patients in settings where the staff resouces are scarce. For easier portability or greater comfort for the patient, Moyo can either be put on the neck of the patient or placed next to the bed.

Sometimes the midwives can pick up maternal heart rate instead of the fetal heart rate. User studies showed us that measuring maternal heart rate and comparing that with the detected fetal heart rate is a difficult and time-consuming task using their available tools. This procedure often requires experienced midwives to be done correctly, which is often a challenge due to shortage in staff compare to the amount of patients.

Moyo can measure the maternal heart rate easily to help the midwife assess if they are monitoring the fetal heart rate. It is simply done by placing the mother’s fingers on the metal areas on Moyo. Moyo then displays both heart rates that are detected.

Design Challenge

In order to provide the best possible design solution, we had to first understand the user’s genuine needs. We travelled to Tanzania and India visiting health facilities, interviewing the local midwives to understand the challenges in monitoring fetal heart rate. We mapped several patient journeys and looked into how our end users could benefit from the new design. This fully immersive participatory co-design approach has helped us to gain insights on the user’s genuine needs.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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