First Wireless Sensors to Monitor Newborn Babies

A team from Northwestern University developed a pair of soft and flexible wireless sensors. These replace the tangled and wired sensors for monitoring babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Wired sensors pose as a barrier between parent and baby, whereas wireless sensors help maintain physical bonding between them.

A team of researchers concluded that wireless sensors provide data accurately from traditional monitoring systems. The wireless patches are gentle on newborns’ skin for allowing their contact. In contrast to these devices, existing sensors require fixing with adhesives, which could scar their skin. The study published on March 1, 2019 in the journal Science, explains this sensor and its benefits.

Going Beyond Current Possibilities by Reducing Skin Scar Occurrences

Physicians also can measure blood pressure by continuously tracking when the pulse leaves the heart and arrives at the foot. Currently, there is not a reliable way to collect reliable blood pressure measurement. A blood pressure cuff can bruise or damage an infant’s fragile skin. The other option is to insert a catheter into an artery, which is tricky because of the slight diameter of a premature newborn’s blood vessels. It also introduces a risk of infection, clotting, and even death.

The device also could help fill in information gaps that exist during skin-to-skin contact. If physicians can continue to measure infants’ vital signs while being held by their parents, they might learn more about just how critical this contact might be.

Blood pressure isn’t the main possibly harming a piece of current innovation. Numerous children experience the ill effects of the sticky tape on the body. Tape can bother skin, and lead to rankle and contaminations, which can harm the baby’s skin.

Will Wireless Sensors Used in US Hospitals; Huge Expectations Underway

The team estimates that the wireless sensors will appear in American hospitals within the coming years. With help from major nonprofit administrations, the team projects to send sensors to thousands of families across developing countries.

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