No Strings Attached: Wireless Sensor Technology in the Prentice NICU

Project: Research project

Project Details


Monitoring of vital signs (e.g., heart and breathing rate) and other important signs (e.g., cardiac rhythms) is critical in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). However, monitoring requires constant wired attachment of neonates to devices which can interfere with access, limit skin-to-skin parental bonding, and damage skin, especially fragile skin of very immature neonates. Our group proposes to test the reliability and accuracy of lightweight, stretchable wireless sensors to compare these wireless measurements with standard wired output. These sensors can be adapted to assess a variety of measurements, so that a single sensor on the chest, for example, will evaluate heart and breathing rates, temperature, and electrocardiogram waveforms, while a second sensor on the leg can record measurements of oxygen in the blood and be used to calculate blood pressure. The tacky adhesive enables the sensor to stick, but not disrupt, fragile skin. In this study, we propose to test these wireless skin-like sensors in premature neonates <29 weeks gestational age, and determine their ability to substitute for continuous multi-lead wired monitoring. We will gauge any adverse impact on delicate skin and assess perceptions of sensors from staff and parents. We ultimately hope to replace current technology with wireless sensors
Effective start/end date9/1/178/31/19


  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Agmt 11 Exhibit B19)


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