The intelligent pacifier developed by Washington State University, which allows the levels of electrolytes in saliva to be monitored at all times, can help healthcare professionals avoid having to draw blood from premature babies twice a day.
Premature babies are very delicate and constantly at risk of dehydration. This new pacifier uses a microfluidic channel to aspirate saliva, a sensor inside the device measures the concentration of sodium and potassium ions and sends the information wirelessly to the healthcare provider via Bluetooth.
I find it a great invention
Invasive tests such as blood sampling, if frequent, are also annoying for adults, but for premature babies they are an ordeal that would be nice to be able to avoid.
"I often see images of neonatal intensive care," says Jong-Hoon Kim, one of the developers of the new device. "A scenario in which premature babies are connected to many cables to check their health. Heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, blood pressure. We want to get rid of those threads. "
Save more premature babies
Today, to avoid dehydration, the level of electrolytes is measured and blood is drawn twice a day. You can imagine for yourself that this is a poorly timed (only twice a day) and invasive monitoring for premature babies. Yet it is necessary.
Babies born earlier have a better chance of survival if they receive quality care in the first month of birth. Tracking them simpler, in real time and not just twice a day can be crucial.
The "smart" pacifier test on many premature babies, completed last August and presented in a study (that I put you here) showed that the measurements obtained are equal to those obtained from traditional blood samples.
Here's one thing that makes the future better.