Better outcomes for newborn cardio-respiratory health

Monash researchers have developed new software which delivers advanced sound quality of heart and lung monitoring for preterm and full term babies, and can be used by parents at home.

The software, used in conjunction with digital stethoscopes, delivers state-of-the-art screening and monitoring capability and more accurate diagnosis of respiratory issues in our most vulnerable babies and children.

It can be used in hospitals or at home and offers better diagnosis and real-time monitoring for babies. This is also of particular value in low to middle-income countries where health resources may be limited.

The software developed by Dr Faezeh Marzbanrad, PhD student Ethan Grooby and a team of researchers from the Monash’s Faculty of Engineering in collaboration with the Department of Paediatrics at the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health and Monash Children’s Hospital, have examined the chest sounds of 119 preterm and full term babies to assess the effect of signal quality on vital sign estimation. Their research found that increasing the quality of the signal recorded, leads to a reduction in vital sign error.

“Chest sounds in newborn babies are very difficult to assess and interpret especially in preterm and/or sick babies,” says Associate Professor Atul Malhotra, Senior Neonatologist and Head of Early Neurodevelopment Clinic at Monash Children’s Hospital.

“There are many reasons; small chest size, fast breathing rate and heart rate, additional sounds of NICU equipment. We rely a lot on chest X-rays and invasive blood gas monitoring to indicate and monitor cardio-respiratory illness in babies. This software gives us much better resolution to interpret, assess and monitor newborn illness,” says Associate Professor Malhotra.

Read the full story here.

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation.

With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities.

As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

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