DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall goal of this proposed research is to adopt an inexpensive IR camera and image analysis software for non-contact monitoring the breath of a premature infant. Sleep apnea in these patients can lead to significant health problems, even death. Existing sensors can give false signals. An all optical system that can detect CO2 in the baby's breath without any piece of the apparatus touching the patient can give more reliable results with greater patient comfort. The proposed Phase 1 research program will test the hypothesis that a dual wavelength imaging camera can discern the breath plume of a small infant. This has been demonstrated for an adult but the infant's breath has a much smaller gas volume and much fasterbreathing rate. Agiltron's optical expertise has an innovative design for this imaging system that will increase signal to noise levels and allow unambiguous detection of the more difficult target. The camera system will be assembled and tested on a simulator but also on at least 2 infants to show feasibility with the high variability of actual breath. If this preliminary feasibility study is successful, then the Phase 2 effort would conduct preliminary clinical trials for improved statistics with a highlyvariable parameter demonstrating that not only can the camera see breath, but it can determine when an infant stops breathing normally. If successful, an inexpensive system would be designed and tested for monitoring such infants at the hospital and in the first month(s) at home. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: If sleep apnea (cessation of breathing) in infants is detected quickly, intervention by a caregiver can prevent severe health issues, possibly even death. Motion monitors are now used but existing instrumentation can give false signals due to obstructive breathing and/or has adverse reactions with the infant for long term use. This research proposes to develop a non-contact sensor to detect exhaled carbon dioxide providing more reliable indication ofbreathing with reduced stress on the patient.
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