November 21, 2016, Ukraine – Ciklum’s R&D Engineering team developed a prototype of the wearable device for Neopenda, a global HealthTech startup, to reduce newborn mortality in developing countries. With nearly 3 mln newborns dying every year in the first month of the life, 80% of deaths are preventable by monitoring baby’s heart rate and blood oxygen saturation. The device is a prototype of a baby hat with a novel sensor array to measure the vital signs and alert doctors and nurses on changes.
98% of newborn deaths occur in the developing world as hospitals there lack sufficient resources for the devices, and lack staff to manually measure newborns’ vital signs. The Research and Development work for the wearable device was done in Ukraine, Ciklum’s R&D Engineering Lab.
A small device measuring baby’s heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, temperature and respiration rate transfers the data wirelessly to a tablet via Bluetooth Low Energy. A web interface can be used by local nurses and alert doctors. Alternatively, baby’s data can be tracked by a doctor in the U.S. or any other hospital through the cloud.
“A low cost, scalable, comprehensive monitoring system like this does not exist. In our target market of Ugandan hospitals the traditional vital signs monitors are not appropriately designed and too expensive for the hospitals to purchase and maintain”, says Teresa Cauvel, CTO, Neopenda.
According to Anton Popov, PhD, Ciklum’s Senior Researcher, the most challenging task was to combine the research and development of algorithms with classical software and firmware development for embedded systems. Neopenda fills this gap in care by giving a voice to newborns in danger in developing countries. As a technology partner, Ciklum helped Neopenda convert the idea into the device, which helps newborns survive.
In July, 2016, Ciklum’s R&D Engineering Lab has developed a Vital Signs Monitor for The Children’s Cardiac Center to control the patients’ vital signs 24/7 after cardiac surgery beyond the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Ciklum’s Reference Architecture platform allowed saving 40% of development time for the Proof of Concept and reduce the cost of device up to 10 times.
Neopenda is a Chicago-based social enterprise in the healthtech sector. As a tech startup, Neopenda engineers innovative healthcare solutions that support newborns in low-resource settings around the world. The company is currently preparing their first field deployment with St. Francis Nsambya, a partner hospital in Kampala, Uganda to launch in early 2017.
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