Telemonitoring of High-Risk Neonates Discharged From SNCU Using a Novel Device: A Pilot Study

Alimelu Madireddy, Swapna Lingaldinna

Abstract

Background and Aim: CareCradle is a home-based telemonitoring device for high-risk neonates. This study examines the utility and feasibility of CareCradle for monitoring neonates discharged from a sick newborn care unit (SNCU).

Materials and Methods: Parents of high-risk neonates, < 2 months old, discharged from the SNCU of Niloufer Hospital for Women and Children (Hyderabad, Telangana, India) were given CareCradle to monitor their neonates for 2 weeks after discharge. The CareCradle prototype included a baby mat, frame and a smartphone with the CareCradle application installed. Parents were instructed to send 2.5-minute videos of their neonates 4 times a day. The nursing staff called parents twice daily and collected information regarding the neonate’s condition. Trained staff reviewed and assessed the videos for danger signs as outlined in the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) guidelines. Where necessary, clinicians recommended appropriate medical intervention.

Results: A total of 24 neonates were enrolled. Their mean gestational age was 31.2 weeks, mean birth weight was 1.46 kg, and average duration of SNCU stay was 19 days. About 47.9% of videos were sent by parents and 80% of audio accounts were completed. Clinicians could successfully assess neonates’ activity level, abnormal chest movements, abdominal distension, and abnormal limb movements.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that using CareCradle for home-based monitoring of high-risk neonates discharged from the SNCU is useful and feasible.

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