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Two-mic system detects fetal heart rate anomalies, prenatal beat sampling

Ross Miller

Patel Institute of Engineering and Technology's A.K. Mittra and associates have devised a clever and inexpensive early warning detection system for monitoring the fetal heart rate of that bun months-long in the oven. With two microphones -- one placed on the pregnant soon-to-be mother's abdomen and one inside the bedroom -- hooked up to a nearby computer, the two audio feeds are used to estimate and subtract the ambient room noise for a better read on the baby's vitals just before the woman goes to bed. Converted to a wav file, if anomalies are detected it's immediately compressed to MP3 and sent to the doctor for further testing. An efficient plan, to be sure, and we can only hope the baby is healthy and hyper-intelligent enough to give normal heartbeats and start recording his or her first LP.

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