New technology for the NICU

New technology for the NICU
Bulky wires have always been the issue that parents faced when wanting to hold their child while their baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit. Now, thanks to researchers at Northwestern University, a pair of wireless sensors have been developed to replace the wire-based monitors that are currently used to watch over babies in the NICU. (Source: KAIT/NBC)

EVANSTON, IL (KAIT/NBC) - Something every parent wants to do after their child is born is hold their baby, but that has proven to be a challenge for parents of babies that are in neonatal intensive care units.

That could be changing soon thanks to new technology being developed.

Bulky wires have always been the issue that parents faced when wanting to hold their child while their baby was in NICU.

Now thanks to researchers at Northwestern University, a pair of wireless sensors have been developed to replace the wire-based monitors that are currently used to watch over babies.

Mothers of babies in the NICU like Taschana Taylor are excited about the opportunities that the technology could provide.

“If she didn’t have the wires on her, maybe we could go for a walk around the room or the area," Taylor said. “Maybe we could spend the night upstairs together. It would just make the entire experience more enjoyable and more bonding with her.”

That time of bonding with a newborn is very important.

Skin-to-skin contact can decrease the risk of infectious diseases, lung, and liver issues.

The wireless sensors have been tested on nearly 100 babies at two Chicago hospitals already.

The sensors are able to provide the same data from vital signs that the traditional monitoring systems did.

They are placed across the baby’s chest and around the foot.

The sensors are also less destructive on the babies delicate skin.

The next step for researchers is to remove the wired monitoring systems while testing the new sensors on the babies.

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