Scientists Develop Device to Monitor Sick Babies' Respiration

Tuesday, 19 February, 2019 - 06:30
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a wearable, toy-like device to monitor respiration on a continuous basis. This monitor, which provides high-fidelity readings, is designed to help children with asthma and other chronic pulmonary conditions.

The affordable devices is composed of sensors created by UCI biomedical engineers using the popular children's toy Shrinky Dinks, including thin painted plastic sheets.

According to the German news agency, the readings from embedded sensors can be transmitted via Bluetooth to be displayed on a smartphone app.

Placed in two positions, one between the ninth and 10th ribs and another on the abdomen, the device tracks the rate and volume of the wearer's respiration by measuring the local strain on the application areas.

The Science Daily website cited Michael Chu, UCI researcher in biomedical engineering, as saying: "The current standard of care in respiration monitoring is a pulmonary function test that's often difficult to perform and limited in terms of the snapshot it provides of a patient's respiratory health, meaning problems can sometimes be missed.

“However, the new device allows users to walk around and go about their lives while vital information on the health of their lungs is being collected."

Michelle Khine, UCI professor of biomedical engineering, said: "It's amazing that this toy for kids has enabled us to create these robust sensors that may one day benefit children and others around the world."

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