Smart clothing for detecting heart disease in babies

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Today, in Best Doctors’ blog, we are going to look at a very up-to-date product, wearables. These are items of clothing or accessories, such as glasses, watches or clothes, that we are starting to wear, which allow us to connect to the internet in another way and access information in real time through sensors.

We will consider the health applications of these devices and focus on a new “smart sleep suit” that has been developed by a new Research Department for Technological Innovation in Paediatrics (Peditec) at the Universidad Politécnica [Polytechnic University] in Valencia, Spain, in collaboration with the Hospital General [General Hospital] in Valencia. 

The sleep suit for babies is made of hypoallergenic cotton and what is most important is that it may be able to detect congenital heart disease or sepsis early on. Sepsis involves our body having an exceptionally serious response to bacteria and other types of microorganisms. In this case, through the use of software, the built-in sensors in the sleep suit, which come into contact with the baby’s body, can monitor and store the new-born’s physiological signs for possible diagnosis and future treatment.

The information obtained through the sensors is processed with some algorithms, which are crossed with data relating to cardiac frequency, so enabling an understanding of the current situation of each patient under examination.

The new sleep suit, which is currently under trial, has been used to examine more than 100 babies and has been used for periods of 40 minutes. These periods were repeated in the event that the physiological information obtained was insufficient.The sensors in the sleep suit are miniaturised so that the baby is upset as little as possible.

According to Dr. José Luis Zamorano, Best Doctors’ medical and scientific adviser and Head of Cardiology at the Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal [Ramón y Cajal University Hospital] in Madrid, Spain, these new types of device are particularly interesting in that they are able to bring to light or detect asymptomatic diseases early on.

A new department to take advantage of the new technologies for health

The new Research Department for Technological Innovation in Paediatrics at the Universidad Politécnica in Valencia is also involved in other innovative projects that may, in the future, be helpful for other conditions such as obesity or the early detection of metabolic risk in infancy or adolescence.

Best Doctors is convinced that the progress made in wearables will very soon be incorporated into our daily lives and will be of great use to medical teams. As patients, we can all become more responsible for our health.

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