Loading...

Smart Pacifier Provides Non-Invasive Way to Monitor Babies’ Electrolytes in Hospitals

May 18, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
(Photo by graphweb via Pixabay)

Researchers from Washington State University released a study on Monday regarding their development of a smart pacifier that can be used to monitor infant health in hospitals.

The wireless, bioelectronic pacifier will eliminate the need for invasive, twice-daily blood draws to monitor babies’ electrolytes in newborn intensive care units. 

Researchers point out in the study that blood draws are usually done once in the morning and once in evening, leaving gaps in information about an infant’s health during a hospital stay. 

Although other methods have been developed to test infants’ saliva for these electrolytes, researchers said in a release that those methods often involved the use of bulky or rigid devices that required separate sample collection. 

Unlike other methods of testing an infant’s saliva, the smart pacifier continuously monitors sodium and potassium ion levels, and can alert caregivers if a baby is dehydrated. 

When the pacifier is in a baby’s mouth, saliva is naturally attracted to the channels and is collected through microfluidic channels with small sensors inside to measure the sodium and potassium ion concentrations in the saliva, according to the research findings published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 

Researchers tested the use of the smart pacifier on a selection of infants in a hospital, finding the results were comparable to data gained from normal blood draws. 

The research team is now planning to develop the smart pacifiers to be more affordable and recyclable, and to test the pacifier in a larger group to establish its efficacy. 

Alexa can be reached at alexa@thewellnews.com

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
White House Blueprint Tackles Maternal Health Crisis 

The White House has new plans to address maternal mortality through the Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an effort... Read More

The White House has new plans to address maternal mortality through the Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an effort to increase access and coverage for certain maternal health services, including behavioral health. The blueprint outlines five priorities to improve maternal health and outcomes: increasing access... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
FDA Advisors Lean Into Modifying COVID-19 Vaccines to Be Omicron-Specific

Key advisors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration met on Tuesday to examine COVID-19 vaccines and whether there is need for... Read More

Key advisors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration met on Tuesday to examine COVID-19 vaccines and whether there is need for modification as protection wanes. During the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting, a majority of the panel, 19-2, ruled in favor of manufacturing an... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 Sails Through House

The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 was passed by the House on June 22 to tackle mental... Read More

The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 was passed by the House on June 22 to tackle mental illness and substance use disorder in the country, especially for rural and low-income communities.  The act passed the House with a vote of 402-20, and reauthorizes... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Equity and Accountability Act Addresses Health Disparities

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., have provided a roadmap for eliminating racial and ethnic health inequities. The senators’... Read More

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., have provided a roadmap for eliminating racial and ethnic health inequities. The senators’ new legislation is called the Health Equity and Accountability Act, and they released it on June 24. The bill lays out 10 provisions and additional investments Congress... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO Members Express Continued Concerns Over COVID and Monkeypox 

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called Wednesday for accelerated efforts to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine. He said that while... Read More

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called Wednesday for accelerated efforts to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine. He said that while honing vaccines to the evolving virus variants makes sense, he is concerned that the pace of mutation means the world is continuing to play catch up. ... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
NIH-Funded Study Reveals Evolutionary Tricks Tied to Health Longevity

National Institutes of Health-funded research released on June 23 offers new insights into why aging rates vary when it comes to evolutionary... Read More

National Institutes of Health-funded research released on June 23 offers new insights into why aging rates vary when it comes to evolutionary tricks, such as having armor and venom. The research was led by Ronald Kohanski, who serves as a director of the National Institute on Aging at... Read More

News From The Well