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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 535-554
http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/2040-2295.1.4.535
Research Article

Design of an Integrated Sensor Platform for Vital Sign Monitoring of Newborn Infants at Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Wei Chen,1 Sidarto Bambang Oetomo,1,2 Loe Feijs,1 Sibrecht Bouwstra,1 Idowu Ayoola,1 and Sietse Dols1

1Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612 AZ, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Máxima Medical Center, 5500 MB, Veldhoven, The Netherlands

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Continuous health status monitoring and advances in medical treatments have resulted in a significant increase of survival rate in critically ill infants admitted into Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The quality of life and long-term health prospects of the neonates depend increasingly on the reliability and comfort of the monitoring systems. In this paper, we present the design work of a smart jacket for vital sign monitoring of neonates at a NICU. The design represents a unique integration of sensor technology, user focus and design aspects. Textile sensors, a reflectance pulse oximeter and a wearable temperature sensor were proposed to be embedded into the smart jacket. Location of the sensor, materials and appearance were designed to optimize the functionality, patient comfort and the possibilities for aesthetic features. Prototypes were built for demonstrating the design concept and experimental results were obtained from tests on premature babies at the NICU of M�xima Medical Centre (MMC) in Veldhoven, the Netherlands.