Sound-based observation of neonatal brain growth and status

WT Scheme: Seed Award in Science

Neurological problems are more likely to happen in the early neonatal period than at any other time of life. 85% of neonatal deaths worldwide occurred in developing countries with neonatal encephalopathy due to the birth asphyxia being one of the major causes of high child mortality. The lack of brain monitoring in developing world is driven by a high cost of EEG machines, the time and skills needed to acquire the EEG signals and the lack of expertise in interpreting neonatal EEG. The aim of the proposed research is to fill the gap in newborn EEG monitoring and interpretation by developing a low-cost brain 'stethoscope' which could be just as routinely used to monitor cerebral function as a conventional stethoscope is used to monitor heart and respiration. We will develop a little sensor pad that can be easily applied to any area of the baby's head. The acquired EEG signal will be converted into audio that will be played through the headphone and analysed by the doctors hearing system. The development of a portable and easily accessible device to assess baby's brain functioning may revolutionise neurocritical care of newborns in resource limited settings in developing countries and worldwide.

Award Date
01 April 2016
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Andriy Temko
Host Institution
University College Cork
SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership