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Fetal Heart Rate Monitors  Favorite

The Doppler fetal heart rate monitor is a hand-held ultrasound transducer that uses the Doppler Effect to provide an audible simulation of the heart beat and displays the number of beats per minute. To achieve this, acoustic waves are sent to the heart of a fetus inside the mother’s womb. Part of the energy bounces back, however, because the heart is beating, the bounced waves will be affected by the Doppler Effect, which changes their frequency.

An ultrasonic probe is a key component in the system. The probe consists of an oscillator to generate ultrasound frequency (for these applications, the range is 1–3 MHz) followed by an amplifier to condition the sine wave in the order of volts. This waveform is applied to the transmitter transducer to send vibrations through the body and bounce back when the density of the medium changes. Another transducer is then used to receive the bounced vibrations and convert them to electrical signals.

Fetal heart rate monitors are increasingly being used in the home, allowing parents to listen to their baby’s heart beat.

Read more about fetal heart rate monitors (pdf)

Freescale Fetal Heart Rate Monitors block diagram

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