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Editor's note: This press release was originally published February 20th by Maxima Medical Center in Eindhoven. Bambi Medical is a High Tech Campus Eindhoven resident. In the photo: Joes, 28+6 weeks gestational age, 1270 grams.

MMC is the first hospital in the world where wireless monitoring of premature babies takes place

At the neonatology department of Máxima MC (MMC), we are committed to an innovation that promises a significant improvement in care for premature babies. This revolutionary step is made possible by the introduction of the 'Bambi Belt' – a wireless strap designed by Bambi Medical, which replaces traditional adhesive electrodes for babies in an incubator.

Currently, adhesive electrodes are attached to the vulnerable skin of a premature baby. This not only causes pain and stress for the baby, but also stress and discomfort for parents, doctors and nurses. The Bambi Belt comes as a promising solution to remedy this.

The wireless band is attached around the baby's waist and uses advanced sensor technology to accurately measure heart activity and breathing pauses. “In a pilot phase we have the option to use the Bambi Belt on two babies at the same time. The first impression of measuring without adhesive electrodes is positive,” says Heidi van de Mortel, neonatology nurse, technology & innovation. “This innovation means more comfort for newborns, no skin irritation and no disruption to sleep. Babies can move without pain and stress with the Bambi Belt, which contributes to positive development.”

Use of smart technology improves care

Another tool to reduce stress for parents and child is pouching. Pouching involves skin-to-skin contact between the baby and a parent. The positive effects of pouching in babies have been scientifically proven. During bagging, the traditional use of hoses and cords can be a hindrance. The Bambi Belt makes it easier for parents to remove their baby from the incubator and enjoy this essential moment of contact more freely. This way you can see how smart technology contributes to improving parent-child bonding.

The origins of the Bambi Belt

In 2010, the PhD research on the 'Smart Jacket' started at MMC, in collaboration with TU Eindhoven, under the leadership of professor and neonatologist Sidarto Bambang Oetomo. The goal was to design a reliable and wireless monitoring device that measures the heart action and breathing of premature babies. After successfully completing the PhD program, Bambang Oetomo decided to build on this promising technology. That is why he founded Bambi Medical, with the aim of further developing the prototype into a successful end product. MMC is the first hospital where wireless monitoring of premature babies takes place with the Bambi Belt.

Future perspective

This is currently still a pilot, in which a total of 50 babies will be monitored with the Bambi Belt for 10 days in the coming months. “We want to investigate what the added value of the Bambi Belt can be in healthcare. We know that the Bambi Belt can reliably measure heart activity and breathing pauses. Now we are going to test how this works in daily care for caregivers and parents,” Van de Mortel concludes.