Neonatal monitoring has transformed into a multidisciplinary field that involves unique integration of intelligence from technology, design, medical science & social study. Mounting pressures for leveraging new technologies in order to offer cost-effective, more efficient, and safer neonatal care have made the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) smarter.
Advancements in monitoring technologies and their growing deployments in NICUs is a key factor enabling faster & easier measurement of myriad physiological parameters in neonates. Current neonatal monitors incorporate several features including ECG recordings, oxygen saturation over time, respiratory rate & air flow, and invasive arterial blood pressure.
Value-based healthcare models have led the development of NICU centers that are well equipped with monitoring & diagnostic devices, coupled with rising number of FDA approvals for these devices. Additionally, gradually increasing awareness on excessive sensory stimuli, discomfort, and procedural pain has been driving the demand for non-obtrusive neonatal monitoring technologies. Demand for neonatal brain monitoring equipment featuring video recording devices will also gain high traction in the near future.
Neonatal Monitoring Equipment: Requirement for Monitoring Complications in Premature Neonates Continues to Drive Sales
Premature birth has prevailed as the major cause of infants’ mortality, which in turn has urged the World Health Organization in devising and implementing a plan of action regarding determination of its adverse health effects on newborn babies. According to WHO, nearly 3.1% of the global disease burden is accounted by premature birth, and this has resulted into approximately 1.3 million newborn mortality cases worldwide. Rate of preterm delivery varies considerably in different countries across the globe, and the WHO relates its prevalence based on high-income nations (9.3%), middle-income nations (11.3%), and low-income nations (11.8%).
Premature neonates suffer from complications prior to their complete development in the womb. Therefore, monitoring medical problems in cases of premature birth is highly essential to eliminate the possibility of various disabilities such as hearing impairment, visual challenges, and dyslexia. With growing instances of premature births, demand for neonatal monitoring equipment market will increase in the upcoming years.
Predictive Monitoring Gains Ground in Neonatal Monitoring
Several parameters and data points are gathered and centrally managed during NICU admissions, which comprise physiological parameters, sensor readings, device data, and interventions and observations of caregivers. High data volume generated in NICUs are leveraged for predictive monitoring that involves physiological data analysis for identifying infants at high risk, thereby enabling early detection of ailments.
Researchers have developed an ECG for continuous analysis of transient decelerations and low heart rate variability for computing heart rate characteristics index (HeRO). This developments aids in early detection of sepsis in newborn babies. Attempts have also been made for using parameters in the detecting apneas of premature infants. Although challenges persist in predictive monitoring and proper training is required for relevant caregivers, this approach has potential for treating life-threatening ailments earlier, thereby improving outcomes in neonatal care.
Pulse Oximetry Perceives High Traction by Providing Safety Net for Neonates in NICUs
Pulse oximetry, a prominent patient monitoring technology, is providing safety for infants and newborns in NICUs, while new advancements in home monitoring enable data transmission of neonates’ vital data to smartphones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has slated screening newborns by using pulse oximeters to be beneficial & effective in identifying numerous life-threating conditions. In current-world healthcare facilities, effective patient monitoring technology is highly bound to effective respiratory care.
When it comes to monitoring newborn babies, particularly in NICUs, extra care & safety is essential, which is often delivered through pulse oximetry. The non-invasive nature of pulse oximetry has made it ideal for application in newborns. Several hospitals have been employing pulse oximeters as the standard of care in their NICUs. For example, the NICU at Pennsylvania-based Reading Hospital utilizes Philips Healthcare’s IntelliVue Monitors, and Covidien’s Nellcor pulse oximeters to ensure positive outcomes for newborn babies.