Alere Partners with Monica, the Leading Developer of a Groundbreaking Wireless Fetal Monitor

ATLANTA, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Alere Health, LLC, a leader in personal health support solutions (a division of Inverness Medical Innovations NYSE: IMA), today announced a partnership between the Alere® Women's & Children's Health Division (WCH) and UK-based Monica Healthcare Ltd, developers of a groundbreaking wireless, wearable fetal-maternal monitor. Alere WCH is the largest U.S. provider of specialized health management services -- supporting over 225,000 pregnancies in 2009. Monica's AN24TM wireless fetal-maternal monitoring solution opens up a whole new world of passive surveillance, flexible management, and patient comfort during pregnancy.

The new device is much more than a monitor. It will make real time patient data accessible by both Alere nurse care managers and attending physicians. The connectivity and ease of use will make risk assessment, earlier risk identification, and triage for patients with high-risk pregnancy conditions possible for the first time in a wireless, same-time environment. The reporting capabilities with the AN24 include the ability to extract key parameters from fetal heart rate and uterine activity traces, which will trigger immediate contact from an Alere nurse care manager in coordination with physicians or pharmacists as necessary. Importantly, the new technology will make it possible for nurse care managers to electronically send messages with key updates and specific education direct to the patient. These improved communication processes will allow quicker risk identification and enhance the delivery of care.

Monica Healthcare's AN24 electrophysiological monitor allows pregnant women, care managers, and doctors to assess an unborn baby's wellbeing. It's actually the first device that allows future moms and doctors to monitor a baby's status outside the hospital. The pocket-sized device operates on battery power, weighs under 100-grams and performs "non-intrusive passive monitoring." The highly sensitive device can detect 0.00000001 volts, meaning it can differentiate between a pregnant woman and her baby's heart signals, and can also gauge fetal position. Moreover, it can transmit real time uterine activity, fetal heart rate, and maternal heart rate analyses (data fetal readings) wirelessly for extended periods of time.

Monica's wireless, wearable technology makes a significant contribution to remote monitoring management in the home. Initially, this partnership will offer a configurable monitor for high-risk pregnancy management with continuous uterine activity, maternal and fetal heart rates, and maternal movement for bed-rest compliance that can be easily serviced and retrieved from the home. Alere plans to roll out unique and new homecare solutions based on Monica's AN24 technology as soon as regulatory approval has been obtained later this year.

"Monica's technology, coupled with Alere's home nursing network and call center infrastructure, makes the Monica AN24 monitor a perfect fit for building on our industry-leading homecare obstetric services.  This will empower us to expand into new areas of homecare management with the opportunity to provide home based patients with real-time connectivity and interaction with Alere nurses. We are excited about this dynamic partnership that will continue to drive our objectives to support maternity management with improved pregnancy outcomes while reducing hospitalizations," said Gregg Raybuck, President of Alere Women's & Children's Health.

According to Carl Barratt, the CEO of Monica Healthcare, "Monica has delivered a quantum technology shift into a marketplace that has been static for 20 years. Our devices utilize the latest sensing and wireless technologies, offering a radical alternative to current obstetric practice." The Monica solution is simple to use, intrinsically safe and suited to prolonged, flexible use; providing comfort and mobility with little disruption to the mother's normal routine.  It is non-invasive and passive - only requiring electrodes to be attached to the mother's abdomen - yet able to accurately monitor the heartbeat of the fetus and uterine activity with unmatched performance.

About Alere Women's & Children's Health Division

Alere Women & Children's Health division delivers services across the entire continuum of maternal-newborn care. Alere's programs span services from preconception, risk-assessment and education (to identify pregnant women at risk for complications) to postpartum depression screening and the nation's leading neonatal program for early infant care management. Recently, the company added medical genetic testing and counseling to its list of comprehensive services for women. For additional information visit: www.alere.com/wchealth.

About Alere

Alere (www.alere.com) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc. (www.invernessmedical.com) ( IMA). Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support", offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere services provide health interventions that are designed for the entire lifespan from pre-cradle (high-risk pregnancy and NICU management) to end-of-life care (complex care) as well as the continuum of health from wellness (health and productivity programs) and prevention to total health management of the individual for those having various chronic illnesses.

About Monica Healthcare LTD.

Monica Healthcare Ltd (www.monicahealthcare.com) was founded 5 years ago to develop and commercialize unique and patented technology developed over a 15 year period at the University of Nottingham, UK.  By working with some of the world's leading obstetricians and fetal physiologists, Monica has made an outstanding contribution towards the understanding of fetal development and uterine activity.  The company will be launching its new VS series of Labor and Delivery monitors in Europe this month, while continuing to innovate and develop technology to support pregnancy and child birth.

© 2010 Inverness Medical. All rights reserved. Alere is a trademark of the Inverness Medical group of companies.

AN24 is a registered trademark of Monica Healthcare Limited. 

SOURCE Alere Health, LLC

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