Published in Science, 28 February 2019: A team from Northwestern University has published on their wireless sensor technology, used for intrapartum and newborn monitoring.
"In neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), continuous monitoring of vital signs is essential, particularly in cases of severe prematurity. Current monitoring platforms require multiple hard-wired, rigid interfaces to a neonate’s fragile, underdeveloped skin and, in some cases, invasive lines inserted into their delicate arteries. These platforms and their wired interfaces pose risks for iatrogenic skin injury, create physical barriers for skin-to-skin parental/ neonate bonding, and frustrate even basic clinical tasks. Technologies that bypass these limitations and provide additional, advanced physiological monitoring capabilities would directly address an unmet clinical need for a highly vulnerable population.
The advances outlined in the publication serve as the basis for a skin-like technology that not only reproduces capabilities currently provided by invasive, wired systems as the standard of care, but also offers multipoint sensing of temperature and continuous tracking of blood pressure, all with substantially safer device-skin interfaces and compatibility with medical imaging. By eliminating wired connections, these platforms also facilitate therapeutic skin-to-skin contact between neonates and parents, which is known to stabilize vital signs, reduce morbidity, and promote parental bonding. Beyond use in advanced hospital settings, these systems also offer cost-effective capabilities with potential relevance to global health."
This paper shows preliminary studies on neonates admitted to the NICU, and demonstrates that their device performs comparably to more advanced clinical-standard monitoring systems.
Read the full article here.