University develops new baby heart monitor technology

A team of engineers and clinicians at the University of Nottingham have developed a new hands free heart monitor for newborn babies.

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 7th November 2012

According to research by the university, around one in 10 newborn babies in the UK annually require resuscitation in the few minutes after they are born.  Vital time can be lost as the midwife or doctor has to stop during the procedure to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.  The new HeartLight monitor could ‘one day provide a continuous recording of the baby’s heart rate without interrupting the resuscitation procedure’, with the monitor being placed on the baby’s forehead.

Clinical trials

The monitor has already been tested on 200 babies, including premature infants during initial clinical trials which were conducted at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.  The new technology has been displayed at Buckingham palace as part of the Diamond Anniversary Reception for children’s charity Action Medical Research.


Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill, who was a member of the team involved in developing the monitor said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen by Action Medical Research to display the HeartLight technology at Buckingham Palace.  Currently a stethoscope is used to measure the heart rate intermittently, which causes delays in resuscitation efforts and these measurements can be prone to human error. However, with the HeartLight sensor, a medical professional is able to focus completely on the resuscitation efforts without ever having to lose critical time by stopping to use a stethoscope.”

Source:  The University of Nottingham, University’s baby monitor technology gets a Royal viewing, 7th November 2012

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