YNU researchers develop wearable device to analyze jaundice in infants

One of the recent innovations in the rapidly evolving medical and healthcare industries is Yokohama National University’s recent development of the first wearable devices to accurately monitor jaundice in newborn babies.

Researchers at Yokohama National University have developed the very first wearable sensor for infants which is deemed to constantly measure bilirubin. In line with the bilirubin detection, the device is also likely to simultaneously detect blood oxygen saturation and pulse rate in the real time.

As per credible reports, the research is claimed to be led by an associate professor of mechanical engineering in YNU’s Graduate School of System Integration- Hiroki Ota, and co-led by Shuichi Ito, professor of department of Pediatric in YNU’s Graduate School of Medicine.

These teams had already published their results in Science Advances. Moreover, the device has a lens capable of effectively transmitting lights to neonatal skin when held to baby’s forehead by a silicone interface, via battery-powered LEDs.

It has been reported that researchers have already tested the device on 50 babies and found that the device is not currently precise enough to suffice for clinical decision-making. Besides, Hiroki Ota has mentioned that the device would significantly reduce the thickness and augment flexibility of the device to facilitate better skin contact.

Ota further stated that the real-time monitoring of jaundice is highly crucial for neonatal care. Constant measurements of bilirubin levels might immensely contribute to the improvement of quality of phototherapy and patient outcome.

Furthermore, at the current stage, coin cell batteries are being majorly used, and the overall shape of the product is very thick. Additionally, in the future, it would be highly necessary to further cut down the weight and thickness by making use of organic materials and thin-film batteries.

That said, researchers have planned to develop a collective treatment method that pairs a wearable bilirubinometer alongside a phototherapy equipment, in the years to come. This approach is expected to optimize the amount and duration of light therapy based on constant measurement of bilirubin levels.

Source Credit: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210304/Researchers-develop-first-wearable-device-to-precisely-monitor-jaundice-in-newborns.aspx