A unique, portable, noninvasive maternal anemia screening technology

Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
Organization Location: 
Seattle, WA USA

Anemia is a silent killer that continues to be a major risk factor for millions of pregnant women and their newborns. Anemia places women at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes including increased risk of mortality and morbidity, preterm births, and low birth weight babies. The majority of these women live in rural areas with little access to proper care. Early detection, monitoring, and treatment of anemia in women during pregnancy, at labor, and in the first 48 hours after delivery could lead to life-saving interventions and significant cost savings to health systems. The proposed project aims to introduce and evaluate a unique, easy-to-use, noninvasive anemia screening device: the Pronto™ (Masimo Corporation). The FDA-approved, commercially available Pronto uses a finger probe and pulse oximetry technology to provide a quick spot check for hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, and pulse rate. By eliminating the need for a trained technician, a blood draw, and test supplies, the Pronto noninvasive device is a radical departure from current practices. It has the potential to increase access to immediate and accurate testing, where the anemia burden is heaviest. The Pronto will be introduced and integrated into the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Survival initiative in South Sudan, a highly innovative and integrative approach to training and equipping health workers in providing basic maternal, newborn, and child care. The usability of the noninvasive device and its impact on health workers’ clinical decisions and actions will be evaluated. The project will be a collaboration between PATH, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Masimo.