The less cumbersome medical equipment will allow for earlier skin-to-skin contact.
Scientist who were testing new skin sensors to monitor stroke recovery and breathing disorders have determined that the same technology could potentially revolutionize neonatal ICU care. With this new safe, wireless monitoring system prematurely born babies would no longer have to spend their first weeks in isolated incubators, unable to be held for fear of ripping off an electrode.
These silicon patches, designed to imitate human skin for the comfort of the wearer, are applied to the chest and foot and can track heart and respiration rates, temperature, blood pressure and blood-oxygen level. Dr. Jon LaPook of CBS News is confident that their new technology is just as reliable as the current methods.
The project is the result of a collaboration between doctors and engineers at Northwestern University, who have developed these sensors. Each sensor utilizes a system of fine metal threads that capture the baby’s vital data. This information is transmitted to an antenna under the crib, which also powers the sensors and streams the data back to the hospital.