Biomedical Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
By chance, on the same day and at the same time, one researcher from Sensibilab
and one fashion designer specialized in baby clothes design independently went to
the director of the NICU: Sensibilab offered the possibility to monitor vital signs of
premature infants using textile sensors, and the textile company proposed the devel-
opment of a line of clothing for premature babies. From this complementary know-
how about:
• biomedical technologies, in particular for the non-intrusive measurement of
physiological parameters;
• textiles, specializing in the design for babies, from premature newborns to ado-
lescents, and technologies for the production of textiles and textile articles in
• ergonomics and Design for usability, wearability, comfort and acceptance of the
system by the user,
the first steps of a synergy of purpose and energies were taken.
The original idea/product of ComfTech was studied closely with doctors and
nurses, to design all of its components to converge into a product that wanted to
be highly technological but at the same time of absolute simplicity and ease of use
for both the users, first and foremost newborns, and secondly family members and
medical and paramedical personnel who have to deal with the child daily.
The first goal was the development of a reliable but extremely flexible (in terms
of applications) textile sensors' system that could be directly connected to the
existing standard monitors for NICU, or that could independently manage data
from home through a dedicated monitoring unit. This implied the creation of an
absolutely comfortable textile sensor, that should be also easy to maintain, and
especially of a garment that, due to its shape and modeling, could perfectly imple-
ment the “Care” 1 in pre-term newborns. This direct experimentation and the devel-
opment of a product designed in close contact with doctors and nurses was also a
key market strategy to encourage the early adoption of the system into clinical
The main advantages of such a sensorized garment for newborns (also prema-
ture ones) are:
• the wearable monitoring does not prevent or restrict the natural contact of
the mother with the child (bonding), that is considered more crucial than the
required monitoring;
• thanks to its shape and modeling, the garment provides the feeling of “con-
tainment” of the newborn, simulating the uterine sack, which is considered an
important practice for the “Care” approach in premature newborns;
1 Specifically, the term “Care” designates the approach of doctors and nurses in the care of new-
borns in the neonatal intensive care unit (and in any case in the first hours of life) aimed at ensur-
ing the child the most pleasant and comfortable physical experiences, in order to offer the best
conditions for proper development.
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