Saturday 14 March 2015

The Heartlight Baby Monitor

If a newborn baby stops breathing, speed of response is critical - yet current techniques require the doctor performing resusitation to stop every 30 seconds to check the baby's breathing with a stethoscope, costing time and increasing risks for the child.

To try and eliminate this break in the resusitation effort, medical and engineering experts at the UoN have developed a tiny, hands-free electronic heart rate sensor (HeartLight) that sits on a baby’s head and allows for uninterrupted resuscitation.

The technology was originally developed to monitor miners whilst underground, and it was then realised that it could also be used to help monitor newborn children, especially those who are premature.

You can watch a fascinating short video about Heartlight here.

The initial development was led by Prof Haynes Gill, Crow and Morgan from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Dept, together with academic neonatologists Dr Don Sharkey from the School of Medicine.

More recently, a joint venture (Heartlight Systems Ltd) has been formed with Derby electronics specialist Tioga to further develop the technology.

An article in University Business quotes Russel Hoyle of Tioga as saying "I firmly believe that the opportunities for HeartLight are huge. With its potential applications in the medical and mining sectors, amongst others, it has tremendous potential for social impact."

The Heartlight Baby Monitor

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