Melody International


Safe and secure delivery for mothers and babies all over the world


Melody International Ltd. will develop a version of the mobile fetal monitor iCTG for developing countries. The following activities will be carried out with the goal of reducing maternal mortality and perinatal mortality in Southeast Asian and South Asian countries in 2024.
 1.Improves the rate of pregnant women medical checkup.
 2.Reduces maternal mortality and perinatal mortality.
 3.Improves the transport (referral) rate of pregnant women.

October, 2020
Melody International Ltd.

Issues to be solved Preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns
Product / Technology / Service Mobile Fetal Monitor iCTG / Perinatal e-Health Platform Melodyi
Approach Development of low-priced products for developing countries, product dissemination
Target country / area Myanmar, Bhutan, Cambodia, Thailand (border area), etc.
Target year for achievement 2024
Scale of the business Low-priced version development, manufacturing budget: Approximately 200 million yen.
Shipment: Approximately 10,000 units
Partner Collaboration with domestic and overseas NPOs, NGOs, and university institutions.
Collaboration with a trading company that excels in logistics to the countries concerned.
Relevant target of

3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
3.2 By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births

5.b:Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women


The global maternal mortality rate is declining, but remains high at 211 per 100,000 (2017) on a global average(*1). Many of the deaths are said to have been preventable in developing countries. Perinatal mortality is also well above the world average of 17.7 per 1,000 live births in developing countries. In addition, according to a new report " A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths"(*2) published by UNICEF and others in October 2020, 2 million babies are stillborn annually.

"Safe delivery" is needed to control these mortality rates. Births with the assistance of health care workers and proper perinatal care can prevent these deaths.

Melody International's iCTG (Mobile Fetal Monitor) is a product that realizes these appropriate cares. It has been downsized to one-tenth the size of the conventional CTG to improve convenience. This device allows the status of the fetus to be shared with healthcare professionals via the Internet, enabling perinatal e-Health. This is the world's first ultra-compact, fully wireless CTG that can be used for diagnostics. With the spread of this device, it will be possible to realize an early transfer (referral) system to higher-ranking hospitals even in areas where medical staff are limited and medical access is poor. However, at present, iCTG sold in Japan is still expensive in developing countries, and it is difficult to spread it. We will develop a low-priced model of the current model for developing countries in order to popularize this system. We aim to reduce maternal and child mortality in developing countries. 

Purpose of the project

With the motto "Safe and secure delivery for mothers all over the world!", We will develop a low-priced version of the mobile fetal monitor "iCTG" for developing countries by the end of 2021. We will establish a mass production system, obtain licenses and disseminate products in the target area. We aim to reduce the maternal mortality rate and perinatal mortality rate by improving the transfer (referral) rate to higher-ranking hospitals in the target area within three years from the start of local sales.

Detail of the Project (How can this project address global health challenges?)

The iCTG used in this project will reduce the workload of healthcare professionals, improve the quantity and quality of medical examinations, and share information between facilities, enabling early detection and continuous observation of high-risk pregnant women. CTG is indispensable for perinatal management, but the number of hospitals required in high-ranking hospitals in developing countries is insufficient, and hospitals in small towns and villages do not have it at all. Since the number of hospitals is overwhelmingly short, the introduction of this portable product can be expected to improve services for vulnerable groups who have difficulty accessing hospitals. In addition, iCTG's antinatal checkup will speed up and improve the quality of medical services by sharing in advance the measurement data of pregnant women when making inquiries to higher-ranking hospitals, especially during emergency transportation.

For example, the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar has set the digitization of health care information as one of its strategic approaches, and created an eHealth Unit in 2018 to improve the telemedicine system. And in the long run, they are aiming to introduce electronic medical records and perinatal medical equipment that can transmit data, and the introduction of digitized fetal monitors such as iCTG will progress.

In the short term, this project will improve the quantity and quality of perinatal management services for approximately 1,000 pregnant women in the pilot area, and contribute to the improvement of local maternal and child health. In the medium to long term, we will expand our business not only to public hospitals but also to private hospitals, aiming to reduce maternal mortality and neonatal mortality in urban and rural areas.

Timeline or milestones by the achievement of the commitment, KPI for monitoring activities

- Sales: 10,000 units in the global market

In target area, we will monitor;
- Perinatal checkup rate: 20% improvement in the target period
- Transportation (referral) rate: 30% improvement in the target period
- Maternal mortality rate: 10% improvement in the target period
- Perinatal mortality rate: 10% improvement in the target period (Since there are many areas where there is currently no statistical information, the neonatal mortality rate is tentatively adopted)

Precondition for achieving the commitment

- Acquisition of development funds for models for developing countries and establishment of mass production system. We are considering mass production not only in Japan but also in developing countries.
- Clearing regulations related to medical devices in the target countries. If necessary, clear medical device regulations common to Southeast Asia and obtain European medical device certification.
- Establishing logistics that connects Japan and the target countries. Contracts with importers and registered contractors and consultants in the target countries. Development of distributors. Establishment of maintenance system for target countries.

Role and responsibility of each partner

University institutions: Writing dissertations in English and communicating with sister universities
Japanese NGOs: If they have local offices abroad, working jointly on a local basis
Local NGOs: Communication mediation with government agencies, local logistics, etc.


(*1) UNICEF, Maternal Mortality, September 2019

(*2)UNICEF, A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths

Contact information

Company: Melody International Ltd.
Person in charge: Keiji Ninomiya
E-mail: e-support "at"

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editor:All contents including photos provided by Melody International