Finalist 2022

Biorithm - Femom

Biorithm / Design + Industry (D+I)

Femom captures essential bio-signals throughout a high-risk pregnancy — enabling clinicians to assess & care for the health of mother + baby.

Femom captures essential maternal-fetal bio-signals remotely, and enables clinicians to review it to assess health of the mother and baby. Using electrocardiogram (ECG), the Femom fetal monitor is designed as clinical-grade device, allowing greater access to care and data on the development of the fetus and maternal health. The high-resolution data can be used to identify risks before they become emergencies, and ensure a safer and smoother maternity journey.

Design Brief:

High-risk pregnancies present an increased chance of preterm and/or stillbirth, with the journey marked by endless visits to hospitals, multiple repeated tests and scans. This can lead to an anxious maternity experience. Fetal heart rate monitoring gold-standard is performed by healthcare professional via cardiotocography (CTG) technology and it remains largely unchanged since its invention in 1960s. However the number of high-risk pregnancies requiring frequent monitoring is increasing, approximately 33 million women with these numbers growing.

The key challenge was to provide mothers-obstetricians with a simple monitoring device that could be easy-to-use by mothers, and would provide repeatable, reliable data. The device needed to accurately capture heart rates and uterine contractions, for the purpose of enabling faster clinical reactions to any concerns before they become emergencies.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

Femom is a clinician-prescribed solution consisting of a wearable monitoring device containing an electrode array that senses electrophysiological signals from the mothers abdomen. The Femom App instantly captures femom device’s signals, other nonphysiological data and acts as a tool to communicate with clinician. Captured bio-signals are analysed in the cloud and interpreted by a clinician only, to prevents misinterpretation of results by mothers and the risk of elevated duress and self-diagnosis.

  • Femom is designed to operate in a unique position on the mother’s abdomen, and from single measurement enables extraction of multiple physiological parameters.
  • The central aperture within the ‘Spreader’ is used as a placement reference aligning to the naval, allowing the mother to position Femom easily on her abdomen.
  • Femom alignment to the naval allows for easy, repeatable, and accurate positioning each session for all users.
  • Femom’s modular design allows for easy maintenance and replacement as the different parts of the device are placed under different levels of stress during its lifetime.
  • Femom empowers mothers with a real sense of being an active actor of their care journey and offers a greater peace of mind. Femom provides mothers with a convenient way to access care and equips clinicians with high-resolution maternity data to detect early warning signs of maternal/fetal distress before they become emergencies.

Design Excellence

Femom is a simply-presented comprehensive obstetric monitoring solution with the vision to enable remote monitoring throughout a high-risk pregnancy. Monitoring is based on electrophysiological signals from the body.

Clinical benefits of fetal-maternal ECG monitoring:

  • Non-invasive recording of the fetal heart rate, mother heart rate and uterine contraction
  • Single position and single measurement
  • Conversion to CTG trace for ease of reading by the care team
  • Advanced monitoring algorithms to extract new well-being bio-metrics

Femom is inviting and friendly for the mother to interact with in a home environment. Its balance of contemporary lines yet softer forms blend to create a unique and harmonious aesthetic and form that flows around the device. The flexible nature of the ‘Spreader’ containing the electrode array allows Femom to contour to the shape of the mother’s pregnant abdomen, accommodating all shapes sizes with a single design. Femom has been developed and manufactured using materials that are biocompatible and durable.

The anticipated product life of the core device is >5 years. The design of the Biorithm device is the translation of scientific and academic evolutions that started at NTU (Nanyang Technological University) in Singapore. The Femom device has been designed in Melbourne (Victoria) for a global audience demonstrating the State's ability to deliver world-class product design services to an international MedTech innovator audience.

The investment in professional design services has seen scientific/academic research and discovery translated into a commercialised solution. Femom is an accurate and reliable wearable monitor solution that is safe, compliant, cost-effective to manufacture, easily serviceable for a long product life and is partially recyclable at the of life.

Design Innovation

Biorithm is designed for value based care which means it would be at the intersection of affordability and optimal clinical utility. Biorithm is expanding beyond research use and working to be offered as a home-based ‘Monitoring as a Service’ (MaaS), which would allow monthly pricing for the rental of the device and use of the digital platform. By offering high quality ‘virtual visits’, Biorithm could provide cost savings, enhance the monitoring experience, monitor risk before they become emergencies, all whilst maintaining + improving on the quality of care delivered over the duration of a high-risk pregnancy.

Femom is new and original in both its easy-to-use design and function of monitoring the health of mother and baby in home environment. Its strong considerations for simplifying usability in what could otherwise be a stressful experience for the mother are key for Femom and its unique offering. The design of the flexible ‘Spreader’ containing the electrode array is unique and innovative in its manufacture and functionality, combining rigid substrates, electronics, and multiple shot soft over-mouldings to produce a rugged, yet highly flexible and re-usable key element of the device.

Femom’s holistic approach to monitoring wearables helps bring maternity care into the personalised medicine era by empowering expecting mothers with the easy to use solution and clinician with high resolution data to detect early warning signs of maternal/fetal distress before they become emergencies.

Design Impact

High risk conditions affect roughly 20% of pregnancies worldwide, approximately 33 million women with these numbers growing yearly. Pregnancy risks are increased by chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and the fact that more women are choosing to give birth later in life. Femom has the potential to enhance the journey of up to 33 million high risk expecting mothers each year. Biorithm’s Femom is an innovative maternal-fetal connected care solution for expecting mothers and maternity healthcare providers.

The design of the device allows for local serviceability as well as partial recyclability of materials for end of product life. The flexible component, the ‘Spreader’, is supplied pre-assembled to the device which becomes unique to the mother for the duration of using the device remotely at home. At the completion of the mother’s pregnancy Femom is returned to the clinician, where it is cleaned and inspected by a care provider’s employee. Using the custom Femom tool, the ‘Spreader can be disassembled, replaced and reassembled.

Femom has been developed and manufactured using materials that are biocompatible, durable and partially recyclable. Femom’s holistic approach to monitoring wearables helps bring maternity care into the personalised medicine era by empowering expecting mothers with the easy to use solution and clinician with high resolution data to detect early warning signs of maternal/fetal distress before they become emergencies. The design of the Biorithm device is the translation of scientific and academic evolutions that started at NTU (Nanyang Technological University) in Singapore. The Femom device has been designed in Melbourne (Victoria) for a global audience demonstrating the State's ability to deliver world-class product design services to an international MedTech innovator audience.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

The design of the device allows for local serviceability as well as partial recyclability of materials for end of product life. The flexible component, the ‘Spreader’, is supplied pre-assembled to the device which becomes unique to the mother for the duration of using the device remotely at home. At the completion of the mother’s pregnancy Femom is returned to the clinician, where it is cleaned and inspected by a care provider’s employee. Using the custom Femom tool, the ‘Spreader can be disassembled, replaced and reassembled. Femom has been developed and manufactured using materials that are biocompatible, durable and partially recyclable.

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