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How a Polo can predict when you'll give birth.

The latest gizmo developed to predict how soon you'll go into labour.
A new tool that predicts when a women will go into labour has been developed by Inverness based scientists. The Polo (Prediction of Labour Onset tool) is thought to be able to predict whether a women is likely to go into labour withing 2 weeks, 2 days or a few hours.

Using electrodes attached to the abdomen, the Polo works by measuring the electric signals in an expectant mother's womb that signal to the uterus when to relax and when to contract. These electric signals are thought to intensify and increase in frequency during the weeks before the birth, allowing a more reliable estimate of due dates to be predicted.

If the Polo receives sufficient funding its creators plan to develop a hand held version that pregnant women could use at home. This would not only be incredibly convenient and save pregnant women the discomfort of going to hospital only to be told they're not actually in labour, but could potentially save the NHS millions of pounds a year.

Where the Polo is predicted to have its biggest impact is in detecting pre-term labour as there isn't an official test at the moment and the introduction of a mechanism that can predict whether a women is in labour would allow earlier detection and intervention.

At the moment the Polo is still very much in its developmental stage (although trials have been supportive). However, hopefully in the future its introduction will allow baby's arrival to be less of a surprise.

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