Globally more infants with neonatal disorders are surviving due to the advancing neonatal care witnessed over the past fifty years. However, sophisticated monitoring systems are available mostly in developed countries and in some privileged areas of the developing world. Finding low cost tools that could be used in all settings to serve for early detection of physiological changes in such a vulnerable population as the premature and sick infants is paramount for prompt management and treatment.
This project is concerned with detecting early signs of physiological disorders in term and preterm babies based on Eulerian Video Magnification (EVM), statistical analysis, and expert knowledge.
Video recordings of skin coloration differentials for healthy and sick neonates will result in establishing norms for each of these two major conditions.
The objective of this project is to adapt the EVM for monitoring physiologic changes and then diagnosing potential disturbances in term and preterm neonates of different gestational ages. EVM uses video recordings of magnified skin color signals over time and thus permits analysis of physiological state changes such as heart rate and perfusion. Those changes would then be correlated with particular condition or disease states for the purpose of automatic diagnosis and alarm issuance. Being easy to apply, contactless and non-invasive, the proposed system would be helpful in vulnerable populations such as sick neonates and particularly in low resource areas. This low cost monitoring technique of skin color changes and possibly other features will be used to develop a low cost, simple, automatic contactless, noninvasive diagnostic and monitoring system that may prove beneficial for patient monitoring and for early detection of disease in term and preterm neonates in all settings and in particular in low resource ones. This approach might improve early diagnosis and allow preemptive treatment which result in better outcome and lower costs of medical intervention.
All Term and preterm neonates admitted to the NICU for investigations or supportive care.
After securing approval of their Attending physician, parents of infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at AUBMC will be informed about the study by the medical research assistant and approached for potential participation. An informed consent will be obtained prior to enrollment. All infants admitted to the NICU are eligible. Those will be divided into four equal groups: 1) “healthy” term, 2) “healthy” preterm, 3) “sick” term, and 4) “sick” preterm babies, where a “healthy” health state is defined by the medical team as “physiologically stable”. The medical team considers “sick” state based on pathological symptoms such as bradycardia, apnea, and hypotension among others. We target collecting video recordings for a total of eighty babies as a pilot number over the period of eight months. Each baby will be recorded for a minimum of twenty four hours. A subset of the eighty babies will be considered as a control group for reference. The control group will be selected based on a healthy physiological state excluding babies with sepsis, respiratory distress, and congenital anomalies.
All infants admitted to the NICU are eligible.