The device consists of a lightweight harness with sensor-laden straps that go over and around the bump.

The first version of the belt, called Ritmo, will have 13 sensors wrapping around the belly, including acoustic and electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors to monitor the heartbeat, with motion sensors to track kicks, contractions and other movements.

"We record everything possible from the surface of the abdomen about the pregnancy," said Oren Oz, CEO of Nuvo Group, the company behind the device.

The information is sent to a cloud server for processing, and the results are sent back to the user's smartphone, 'New Scientist' reported.

This version of the belt is designed for women to buy and use themselves and it will go on sale by the end of this year for around USD 200.

The company is planning a medical grade version of the device, called Pregsense, which will have more sensors and better accuracy.

With approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Oz said, doctors could use it to monitor patients remotely and pick up any complications early.

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