A flexible, wireless optical sensor could soon be used to remotely monitor a sick baby’s blood oxygen level s – created by engineers at Massachusetts’ Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the Band-Aid-sized gadget measures the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood in real time, which is a more accurate indicator of respiratory health than finger-clamp pulse oximetry readings.
WPI’s Professor Ulkuhan Guler notes that extended hospital stays, as typically adopted in such cases, can be a strain on families, “Our goal with this affordable, mobile device is to give doctors more flexibility in monitoring their patients both in the hospital and at home.”
The Worcester sensor is designed to emit red light as a reflection of oxygen molecules that are diffused from the bloodstream. It will soon be able to wirelessly access the internet, sending warnings to an app on doctors’ and parents’ smartphones in the event that the baby’s blood oxygen levels start to drop.
The technology could later find use on adult patients as well, including those with severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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Source: Healthcare Asia