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Pneumonitor™, Continuous Respiratory Monitoring for Premature Infants

4 June, 2012 | News

Pneumonitor™, Continuous Respiratory Monitoring for Premature InfantsA newly developed device for the monitoring of respiratory problems in premature babies has recently been developed by Pneumedicare.

The device continuously monitors the baby’s respiratory function, and can immediately detect any deterioration. In addition to detection, the device may assist in characterizing any underlying problems. Thus, it facilitates the diagnosis and correct treatment before the baby suffers distress.

Use of the “Pneumonitor™” in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Pneumonitor™ is non-invasive, with very small sensors. Its operation is simple, and user-friendly, with information that is intuitive and easy to understand. The main purpose of the device is the early detection of respiratory problems and progressing complications ahead of any further distress or injury. The Pneumonitor™ consists of three very small motion sensors attached to either side of the chest and to the upper abdomen. Symmetry of lung ventilation, together with breathing effort, are measured by the monitor. Recorded information is filtered, processed, and presented on the device display. Once the Pneumonitor™ identifies a significant change in respiratory function or in the symmetry of ventilation, an alarm is activated, and the displayed information specifies the nature and location of the underlying problem.

In spite of the currently used sophisticated monitoring systems, up to 45% of life-threatening events in the NICU go undetected, and are recognized only by attending staff inspection. Moreover, when the monitors do detect a problem, as decreased oxygen saturation, the baby is already in distress, and the situation can become life threatening. Nevertheless, the physician still has to establish the possible reason for the alarm, and document the correct diagnosis, before initiating the appropriate treatment.

The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, a leading professional journal in the field, published an editorial discussing the Pneumonitor™, entitled: “Early detection of complication, prevention is better than cure.” The editorial of this esteemed journal also awarded a study submitted by the developers of the monitoring system as paper of the month. The founders of Pneumedicare are Dr. Dan Waisman from the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion and Carmel Medical Center, Prof. Amir Landesberg from the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technion, and Dr. Carmit Levy, Pneumedicare CEO. “The Pneumonitor™was successfully tested in preclinical studies with different disease models. It was also tested in 63 cases at the Carmel, Bnai-Zion and Meyer Children’s Hospitals in Haifa, Israel. The Pneumonitor™ is now ready for FDA review”.

Recent research shows that up to 10% of worldwide births are preterm. In addition, about 10% of full term babies develop respiratory complications that require strict NICU supervision. In the USA alone, there are roughly 400,000 premature births per year. Almost 15% of very low weight babies, weighing less than 1500 grams, will die. Of those who survive, 15% will develop severe complications and suffer from severe morbidity, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, blindness, hearing loss, and severe chronic lung disease. The vast majority of the above problems are directly related to the early management and care of the infant’s respiratory problems. Therefore, tight monitoring with early detection of any respiratory deterioration and immediate administration of the appropriate treatment are imperatives that can prevent severe sequelae.