Purdue University Researchers Developing Home Tool to Detect Risk of Preeclampsia

Researchers at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, are developing a device and an application that will enable pregnant women to use a smartphone to track their susceptibility to develop preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication related to hypertension that can cause organ damage and premature birth.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of all maternal deaths in African and Asia and 25 percent in Latin America are related to preeclampsia. In the United States, a recent report estimated that the costs to the U.S. healthcare system relating to preeclampsia amount to more than $2 billion annually.

The new device will allow pregnant women using their smartphone to assess blood flow through their kidneys and whether a woman’s blood pressure increases when she changes position from lying on her left side to lying on her back. If the women’s blood pressure increases by a certain amount, that is a warning sign that she is susceptible to preeclampsia.

“We hope this will allow us to predict and prevent preeclampsia and reduce the number of children born prematurely each year. This could also reduce the long-term health complications for mothers,” said Craig Goergen, an assistant professor at Purdue University, who is leading the research team..

A video about the project may be viewed below.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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