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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Rhode Island
  • Kunal Mankodiya
  • (401) 874-5138
  • Yalda Shahriari
  • Krishna Kumar Venkatasubramanian
Award Date:07/26/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 299,998
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 299,998
  • FY 2021=$299,998
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:EAGER: Towards a multimodal smart textile medical monitoring system for Neonatal ICUs
Federal Award ID Number:2139724
DUNS ID:144017188
Parent DUNS ID:075705780
Program:Smart and Connected Health
Program Officer:
  • Fay Cobb Payton
  • (703) 292-7939

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Rhode Island
Street:70 Lower College Rd
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

The rate of premature babies is rising in the US affecting 78 per 1000 live births admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) yearly. Due to low birth weight and underdeveloped body systems, premature babies are at a high risk of experiencing both short-term and long-term health issues. However, to date, NICUs still use gel-based sticky electrodes glued to the fragile, underdeveloped skin of premature babies. Studies have reported that these electrodes could cause skin harm such as rashes, irritation, breakdown, and stripping. Moreover, these electrodes are connected using long wires that make the critical care for nurses inconvenient, tedious, and time consuming. Drying sticky electrodes often lead to a loose connection with the skin and ultimately compromise the quality of medical monitoring. Because of long wires, parents find it difficult to provide skin-to-skin/kangaroo care to their babies while in NICU. The central objective of this EAGER proposal is to design and test a novel smart e-textile system, a chest belt that can enhance medical monitoring practices in NICU. The proposal synergizes the team’s expertise in areas of smart textile, physiological monitoring, biosignal processing, and human-centered technology design to address critical need for smart, safe, and connected monitoring systems in NICUs. In addition to the scientific impacts of this EAGER, the proposed work will advance national health by addressing multiple existing gaps in NICUs. The educational and outreach plans will provide training opportunities for women and under-represented minorities and will also develop a K-12 curriculum. The overarching goal of the project is to design and test a new NICU-centered wireless medical monitoring technology that is designed from biocompatible smart textile materials requiring no adhesive gel. Aim 1 will focus on NICU centered design and development of smart textile-based medical monitoring systems. Aim 2 will focus on characterization and evaluation of the proposed smart e-textile. The project will start with an ethnographic study of the NICU, focus groups involving NICU nurses, and interviews of parents of babies in the NICU to understand the challenges associated with providing care to premature babies. This will lead to the development of a novel functional prototype of a wireless smart textile technology that can offer reliable monitoring of medical signals with improved comfort. The project includes a feasibility study to measure the performance and usability of the proposed smart textile on healthy adults and healthy infants. The study will enable us to develop signal analysis methods for signal quality index and noise characterization that are critical to address the issue of false alarms in NICU caused by poor skin-electrode contacts. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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