Smart pacifiers in development will be helpful for infants in the NICU as they reduce the need for bloodwork, says GlobalData

Following the news that researchers from Washington State University have developed a smart pacifier to monitor newborn infants;

Alexandra Murdoch, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company offers her view:

“This device will be especially helpful for babies who are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), as they are at higher risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Often, babies who are in intensive care need bloodwork multiple times per day to monitor their condition, so this pacifier has the ability to reduce those bloodwork tests.

“Initial data from the studies have shown that the pacifier tracks closely with data from the blood tests, so it should be able to replace the bloodwork. Additionally, the pacifier will be continuously monitoring, whereas bloodwork leaves a gap because it is generally done once in the morning and once in the evening.

“The pacifier includes small sensors that measure the sodium and potassium, and the information is then sent to caregivers via Bluetooth. Remote patient monitoring devices such as this smart pacifier are becoming more prominent. A recent GlobalData poll (2021) of 201 respondents shows that acceptance rates of remote patient monitoring devices have increased, as 66% of participants are more willing to use them since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, 17% are not as willing due to privacy concerns. Despite this, the remote patient monitoring market is set to reach $760 million by 2030.”

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