More than one of ten babies come to early on the world. Small and fragile, these still have to keep inappropriate suckling plants warm and constantly monitored medical technology, mostly in a breed box. Their sight is often heartbreaking: a tiny breakfast into a network of cables surrounded by numerous advised.
A new monitoring system that researchers developed at Northwestern University in Illinois is intended to change the other – the many wire are overflowed. Instead, ultradunne skin stickers, so-called patches are used, which are only a few centimeters wide and attached to breast and fuving the babies.
The technique invented by an interdisciplinary team, looks like a transparent patch and contains all the sensors for tracking the child’s vital data. The adhesives are the first of its kind, which do not require cables or batteries for newboring diagnostics in the breed box.
The data can be collected and processed directly in the monitoring system – thanks to integrated Near-Field Communication chips (NFC), which in turn are connected to a Bluetooth module that send the data to a computer. The sensors are equipped via a wireless power supply with energy.
The system has already been tried to more than 60 babies in two hospitals in Chicago. They carried the new adhesivesors parallel to traditional monitoring systems and was as a precise and accurate as it was in an accompanying study.
More specifically as current medical technology?
John Rogers, who was responsible for the engineering side of the project, believes that his system is more accurate than current medical technology. Among other things, the lounger is that the patches are less accurate for storsigners that arise when the baby moves and moves on the stripping.
But more important is another factor: the missing cables make it much easier to keep body contact with the breakfast – by the parents. There is first evidence how important this is in this phase for the little ones. Also the food and clean of the babies is simplified by the adhesives sensors.
"Imagine a critically ill newborn, whose lungs and heart do not work well. Imagine a drug that stabilize the pulse, improve food intake and curse the long stay in the breed box – and complete without cost and side effects. This is skin-to-skin contact", Steve Xu explains the dermatologist and member of the Northwestern research team.
Traumatic for the baby skin
Another problem is the fact that the previous systems drove to partly problematic skin injuries because the wire and devices must be attached with strong adhesives. "Up to 15 percent of the entire skin is traumatized every day through this technique", So Xu. The adhesives are much safer for the babies.
The research team has meanwhile acquired claims from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to use the technology from April in Zambia. The adhesives sensors are already a blessing in countries where breeding box is widely available. But they are missing, they are quasi revolutionar. Skin-to-skin contact could then help to stabilize the temperature of the babies.
By the end of the year, Rogers hopes that the adhesivesors at 20.000 Freuchen in Zambia are used. With these experiences, the technology should be further refined – and save life.