September 28, 2016

Babies to don wearable tech

Written by Healthy Newborn Network

This article originally appeared on Healthy Newborn Network.

India has one of the highest neonatal mortality rates and in the absence of adequate facilities in most rural hospitals, neonates may not receive timely care, which may lead to further health complications. To address this major problem, researchers from Robert Bosch Center for Cyber Physical Systems at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and St John’s Research Institute (SJRI), both based in Bengaluru, have developed a wearable sensor, which picks up temperature abnormalities in newborn babies and transmits it remotely to the phone of a health worker or raises audible alarms for the family member to be alerted immediately, or if no corrective action is taken.


The first-of-its-kind sensor device and the back-end analytics system are undergoing a feasibility study and clinical trial currently among a few dozen mother-baby pairs from urban hospital settings in Bengaluru. The system is being tested for data capture-validation and alert response to the mother/village health worker/hospital. In the next phase, this device is proposed to be tested in rural settings of the country.

“The nenonatal monitoring device, which is strapped on to the baby’s abdomen, is currently being tested by St John’s Research Institute,” said IISc Prof Bharadwaj Amrutur, who is working with Prof Prem Mony of SJRI, along with other researchers from both institutes.

“We are currently in the second phase of the tests, where we are testing the device in a controlled group of 100 mothers and babies at hospitals in Bengaluru. The aim is to ascertain how safe and comfortable it is for the baby. One-third of the target has been achieved. In the next phase, we will test the device in rural hospitals in Karnataka,” Dr Mony, Prof of Epidemiology & Population Health, told Bangalore Mirror.

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