GE Healthcare announced this week that it acquired the U.K. monitoring technology company Monica Healthcare for an undisclosed amount. This deal will expand GE's digital maternal and infant care portfolio.
Maternal and infant care is a global priority since about 800 women die every day due to preventable pregnancy or childbirth complications, according to the UN Foundation.
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Monica Healthcare manufacturers wearable wireless fetal monitoring devices. The monitors are in use at approximately 1,000 sites in Europe, Asia and North America, and over 100,000 patients benefited from the technology last year.
GE has been Monica Healthcare's North American distribution partner for the Novii Wireless Patch System since 2015. Novii, which consists of the Novii Patch, Novii Pod and Novii Interface, monitors maternal heart rate, fetal heart rate and uterine activity.
The Novii Patch is a single-use device that attaches to the patient's abdomen and picks up ECG and EMG signals and transfers them to the Novii Pod.
The Novii Pod then filters, digitizes and processes the signals in real time and transmits the data via Bluetooth to the Novii Interface, which is connected to the fetal monitor.
GE's maternal-infant care portfolio includes maternal and fetal monitors, infant warmers, infant resuscitation systems, phototherapy, incubators and combination beds. Monica Healthcare's digital, mobile devices will now be incorporated into the portfolio.
The UN, WHO and governments in developing nations are putting more of a focus on maternal and infant care, according to a Grand View Research article published earlier this month. That's expected to drive the demand for fetal and neonatal care equipment.
The global fetal and neonatal care market was worth $6.7 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 7.6 percent from 2014 to 2025, according to a recent Grand View Research report.