Affordable, Sensorized Garments for Kangaroo Mother Care: Promoting Behavior Change and Enabling Data Collection
Conor Walsh of Harvard University and Elisabeth Salisbury of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the U.S. will develop a low-cost, wearable, monitoring device to improve kangaroo mother care for newborns in remote settings. Kangaroo mother care is an established childcare method that is particularly valuable for preterm infants. It uses clothing to attach the baby to the caregiver, thereby ensuring continuous skin-to-skin contact to provide warmth. However, too much or too little heat can also be dangerous, but there is currently no way to monitor that. They will develop and test washable, temperature- and stretch-sensitive materials that can attach to existing kangaroo mother care garments to monitor the temperature and breathing rate of the infant. The device will also be able to alert the parent using color or other simple cues when they need to warm or cool the infant or provide stimulation.