Monitoring Premature Babies Through Wireless, Flexible Body Sensors
Neonatal Intensive Care Units are mostly characterized by children born prematurely hooked up to an array of sensors, each connected by a wire to a patient monitor. The sight is certainly not a happy one, and not to forget the disruption caused to the emotional and physical bonding that is very vital for the mother and child in the weeks right after birth.
In order to address this issue, flexible and wireless patches capable of monitoring parameters such as the heart rate, blood oxygenation, and body temperature along with the existing wired devices has been developed by the Scientists at Northwestern University.
In order to study the new sensors developed by the scientists, as many as about two dozen preemies at Prentice Womenrsquo;s Hospital and the Ann amp; Robert H. Lurie Childrenrsquo;s Hospital in Chicago were chosen. At the end of the study, the Northwestern team found that the accuracy and precision of the new devices matched that of the sensors that are conventionally used in hospitals everywhere. The unique selling point of course is how minimally intrusive these devices are. Without causing any obstruction caused to the ongoing monitoring, the parents were easily able to touch and hold their babies.
Furthermore, outfitting the preemies with both conventional sensors as well as the wireless ones in the study established an almost perfect correlation between the readings. This proves that the new sensors can used without any issue in clinical practice. The research expanded including over 70 newborns post the publishing of the original study in journal ldquo;Sciencerdquo;.
Blood pressure, blood flow, as well as provide accurate readings while the child is interacting with someone else are the additional aspects that can be measured with the new devices apart from heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, and oxygenation.