Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims the life of nearly one out of every 200 children born worldwide. As of today, no explanation has been offered for this phenomenon, and no solution has been found…yet.
The SureChild: LiveSensor system comprises a monitoring system consisting of a thin, padded sensor belt, and a receiver unit. The sensor belt loops around the patient’s chest and is snugly secured in place with a piece of Velcro sewed to one end. The unit monitors the patient’s movement and respiration as they either move or expand their chest during respiration via an integral sensor embedded in the belt. If movement or respiration stops, the system will emit an alarm intended to either startle the patient towards consciousness or alert their care-giver to the situation. Its simple design makes this unit inexpensive, and therefore easily distributable to save lives.
This system functions much like any readily available baby monitor. Firstly, the sensor belt houses a small transmitter and sensor powered by a small, replaceable button-battery; during function it sends regular signals to the receiver. The receiver functions by receiving the signal emitted by the sensor belt via antenna. A small microprocessor receives the data and will attenuate itself to the patient’s sleep patterns. Any significant deviation from the patient’s ‘learned’ sleep pattern will result in an immediate alarm. Also, any belt out of range of the receiver, or one that is damaged, will trigger an alarm to alert the care-giver.
The simplicity of the design allows for a price comparable to a common baby monitor. Methods for printing circuitry directly onto plastic substrates will allow the sensor and circuitry to be easily, and more cost effectively manufactured simultaneously. Simple extruded foam and fabric will house the sensor.
The receiver is readily created using the same plastic circuit board technology. The housing for the receiver can easily be manufactured using any variety of cost-effective methods.
This unit can be used for the prevention of SIDS in young children. Using RF technology each belt can be given a specific number. This allows a single receiver to be used to monitor multiple belts and patients.
This system also has applications for emergency response, emergency rooms and hospitals, and hospice care patients. Emergency responders need to monitor the vitals of those patients most critically injured when responding to catastrophes. To accomplish this, all victims could be fitted with sensor belts and monitored for the basic sign of life: respiration. Therefore, the responders would give the proper attention to those patients who may have severe internal injuries and require assistance more quickly. Emergency rooms and hospitals, especially in developing nations, could cost effectively fit all of their incoming patients with the sensor bands and replace the need for expensive monitoring equipment. Hospice care patients could also be given more autonomy by utilizing this system; constant, remote monitoring of their sensor bands would enable them to live worry-free of not receiving care when it’s needed.