The paper presents a novel screening method to
indicate congenital heart diseases (CHD), which otherwise could
remain undetected because of their low level. Therefore, not
belonging to the high-risk population, the pregnancies are not subject
to the regular fetal monitoring with ultrasound echocardiography.
Based on the fact that CHD is a morphological defect of the heart
causing turbulent blood flow, the turbulence appears as a murmur,
which can be detected by fetal phonocardiography (fPCG). The
proposed method applies measurements on the maternal abdomen
and from the recorded sound signal a sophisticated processing
determines the fetal heart murmur. The paper describes the problems
and the additional advantages of the fPCG method including the
possibility of measurements at home and its combination with the
prescribed regular cardiotocographic (CTG) monitoring. The
proposed screening process implemented on a telemedicine system
provides an enhanced safety against hidden cardiac diseases.
Cardiac murmurs, fetal phonocardiography,
screening of CHDs, telemedicine system.