For premature babies, among a few things that requires close monitoring, brain oxygenation is possibly the most important one. Up to 50 percent of babies born prematurely suffer from brain damage to lead to neurological conditions.
In a medical effort for a solution to this, a wireless sensor that keeps track of the health of a baby’s brain in a simple, comfortable, and inexpensive manner has now been developed by researchers at Deft University of Technology.
New Device superior over existing ones
In fact, the monitoring of oxygen level in the brains of premature babies is possible. However, the devices that are used today are large and heavy, and are fitted with cords that babies can get caught in. Also, the machines are very expensive, and the sensors in the machines often hurt a baby’s soft skin when pulled off. Therefore, this makes for all the more reason to develop a better method to monitor oxygenation levels in the brain of a baby. This is exactly what researchers at deft University of Technology in collaboration with Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago and Northwestern University have carried out.
The researchers, in association with an electrical engineer and a doctor have developed a soft, bendable wireless sensor that can be connected to a baby’s scalp. Function-wise, data is transmitted wirelessly from the sensor to an app, which raises an alert when clinicians need to intervene. “The sensor performs two functions: monitor of regional tissue oxygenation level in the brain and monitor of arterial oxygenation levels in the body,” stated one of the researchers of Deft University of Technology. Thus, using the sensor, healthcare workers can obtain information about these two separate systems and about the interaction between them.