Neonatal Enthusiasts

Contact-Free Vital Signs Monitoring in Neonates


Member profile details

Membership level
2013-2014 Team
Team Name
Neonatal Enthusiasts
Project Title
Contact-Free Vital Signs Monitoring in Neonates
Design Challenge
Our goal is to design a non-contact neonatal monitoring system. Because the device will be deployed in an NICU, it will have several design constraints. It must attach securely to the neonatal incubator, operate with low ambient light and be somewhat tolerant of infant movement. The results obtained by the device should ideally pass all accuracy and operational medical benchmarks. The device needs to ultimately be tested at the neonatal intensive care ward at the Texas Children’s Hospital, which means that it should be designed such that an IRB can be obtained for trials.
Design Summary
The Neonatal Enthusiasts will design a non-contact vital sign monitoring system for neonates. Specifically, our system will monitor a neonate’s heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. 12.8% of babies in the United States are born prematurely. Since their skin is highly sensitive, these neonates would benefit from a non-contact system. This system addresses two major concerns of neonatal physicians and nurses:
1. Scarring and infection caused by the application and removal of the current contact- sensors
2. Alarm fatigue caused by repeated false alarms triggered by the contact-sensors falling off or temporary spikes in vitals caused by movement

In order to address these problems, our device has the following requirements:
• Displays heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature values with less than six percent inter-device error
• Measurements must be continuous and real-time
• Triggers an alarm if any vital sign is outside of the normal range, but only if the value is determined not to be a spike caused by movement
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University

Sponsor Logo
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Ashutosh Sabharwal
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • ECE
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Gary Woods
Faculty Advisor 2 - Department
  • ECE
Award(s) and Recognition
International Student Design Showcase at the Design of Medical Devices Conference 2014 - Accepted to present poster 2014 Brown School of Engineering Design Showcase and Poster Competition: Judges’ and Professors’ Choice Award

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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