Shropshire Star

Wireless device to monitor sleep and breathing in child patients trialled

The technology has the potential to improve diagnostic accuracy in conditions such as sleep disordered breathing.

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Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow

A wireless device that could help diagnose respiratory and sleep conditions in babies and young children is being trialled for the first time with hospital patients.

The Paediatric Advanced Respiratory Service (Pars) combines wearable, wireless biosensors with mobile, app-based software to give real-time analysis of infants’ breathing when they are asleep.

Experts said the technology has the potential to improve remote monitoring and diagnostic accuracy in conditions such as sleep disordered breathing and paediatric respiratory disease.

The technology is attached using an adhesive pad and tailored specifically for children, as many existing devices used in hospitals are invasive and therefore poorly tolerated by babies and toddlers.

Currently available for research use only, the technology is now being used in an early stage study with 150 patients from the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow – 75 from the Sleep Clinic Unit and 75 from the Neonatal Unit.

Dr Ross Langley, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde paediatric respiratory consultant, who has led the Pars project, said: “Detecting and monitoring respiratory problems in children and newborns can be challenging and we know that existing in-hospital devices are invasive and poorly tolerated by children.

“We are pleased that Pars has now entered an early stage study with patients as we explore new ways to diagnose sleep and respiratory conditions in young children.

“This has been developed with industry partner PneumoWave and is tailored specifically for children.

Sensor device attached to dummy
The device is attached using an adhesive pad (West of Scotland Innovation Hub/PA)

“The device has worldwide potential to improve remote monitoring and diagnostic accuracy in paediatric patients.”

Pars has been developed by the West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which is hosted by NHS GGC, in partnership with digital therapeutics company PneumoWave.

It is hoped that the device will improve outcomes for patients and improve their experience, while also adding capacity to clinical services.

The study, which will run until October 2025, will allow medics to explore how tolerable the device is and its feasibility going forward.

Dr Bruce Henderson, chief executive of PneumoWave, said: “Our goal as a company is to stop early deaths from preventable causes, and there is nothing more important than achieving this in children.

“We are privileged to have the support of patients at the Royal Hospital for Children, and of the dedicated staff led by Dr Langley, and grateful to Innovate UK for funding the project.”

It comes as a project designed to develop at-home testing of jaundice in newborns also moves a step closer.

The West of Scotland Innovation Hub is working with the North of Scotland Innovation Hub to explore solutions to provide jaundice testing, as part of a Chief Scientist Office funded Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

The test being developed would use a tiny amount of blood from a heel-prick carried out at home, rather than babies having to be brought to hospital.

The first phase of the SBRI will see clinicians from NHS GGC and NHS Highland collaborate with William Oak Diagnostics, who will adapt their micronutrient deficiency Point Of Care Testing technology to detect and measure bilirubin levels in the blood for rapid diagnosis of jaundice.

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