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Crestwood implementing AI-based technology to enhance maternal, fetal safety

HUNTSVILLE – Artificial intelligence is having an impact in the health-care industry in Huntsville.

Thanks to an AI-based maternal-fetal early warning system called PeriWatch Vigilance, the childbirth team at Crestwood Medical Center can enhance patient safety during labor and delivery.

PeriWatch continuously monitors maternal vital signs, fetal heart rate, contractions, and labor progression. This helps clinicians quickly identify any concerning developments for faster intervention.

Crestwood Medical Center delivered more than 1,300 babies in 2021.

Dr. Sharon Callison, an obstetrician and chief of OB/GYN, said the technology is an important resource to support maternal/fetal health and safe deliveries.

“Every delivery is unique so the health and well-being of every mom and baby is our priority during childbirth,” said Callison. “While most births happen without complication, there are some inherent risks in the delivery of a newborn.

“This new technology adds another layer of protection throughout the labor process to help the maternity team recognize, prevent and respond to avoidable complications.”

Through pattern recognition, the technology can also pinpoint opportunities for overall improvement based on consolidated data from multiple births. As the maternity team reviews trends and identifies areas where improvement is possible, the hospital can use that information to develop protocols that further increase safety and may lead to better outcomes for mothers and babies.

“By investing in this technology, Crestwood Medical Center is making labor and delivery safer for mothers and babies,” said Chief Nursing Officer Kris Goodwin. “Our physicians and nurses are highly skilled medical professionals and excellent caregivers and they appreciate the use of technology to support their work, especially when it helps keep our patients safe.”

In 2020, Crestwood completed an expansion of its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with 10 private rooms. The rooms allow parents to stay overnight with their newborn and enable the staff to be more accessible to the family.

The newly expanded NICU also includes a room to accommodate twins and a family bathroom with a shower.

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