Multifunctional blanket for neonates
A proposal was made to the design team (functioning in the TU Eindhoven squad ‘Comfort and Care for Babies’) by a PhD student specialising in the field. This proposal was to create a product which artificially simulates Kangaroo Mother Care for babies spending time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Hugsy is a multifunctional swaddling blanket used in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Hugsy simulates and facilitates Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) to reduce pain and stress in premature infants, encourage healthier development, and improve mother and child bonding. Hugsy facilitates KMC sessions, records mother’s heartbeat, and absorbs her scent. KMC is simulated in the incubator through optimal positioning techniques, playback of mother’s heartbeat, and the mother’s scent captured in the blanket.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
1) Secure wires from baby through loops on Hugsy, 2) Swaddle baby in Hugsy, 3) Swaddled baby transferred from incubator to mother in Hugsy for KMC session, 4) Baby placed on mother’s chest, Hugsy secured around mother with straps, 5) Heartbeat of mother recorded during session with heartbeat recording and playback module, 6) Baby swaddled and put back in incubator, 7) Speaker put into Hugsy pocket, 8) Baby positioned in Hugsy, 9) Playback mode turned on for baby to listen to mother’s heartbeat.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in September 2015 at the Technical University in Eindhoven and finished in January 2016. It was exhibited at the Innovation for Health Design Expo in Rotterdam in February 2016.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The Hugsy was prototyped completely by our team. The blanket is a sheet of polyester cotton blend batting encased in a cotton polyester blend jogging fabric. The support strap is made from lycra, and the weighted positioning bags filled with polyethylene beads. The electronics consist of an Arduino FX soundboard, an Arduino Mini Pro, an amplifier, speaker, and pulse sensor. The electronics enclosure consists of a 3D print using laser sintering, together with a vacuumed formed outer shell.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The size is 800mm*350mm. It uses cutton for keeping warm and soft for babys. All the electricity components can be take apart so the whole thing is washable.
neonatal, kangaroo mother care, simulation, facilitation, baby, comfort
This project revolved around designing a product that simulates and facilitates kangaroo mother care (KMC). We reviewed and summaried literature first. Then we defined our target group. In the ideation phase, many ideation methods including brainstorming sessions, morphological chart, creating moodboards, and design sketching were used. User testing was completed using our prototypes with various experts: phD student Deedee Kommers, head nurse of MMC Astrid Osagiator, and Doctor Sidarto Bambang Oetomo. The user testing consisted of two methods which was a product concept evaluation, and an interaction prototyping evaluation.
The most difficult part was how to design a proper product for both the baby, the mother and the nurse. All the products on the market are focusing on just one field. The nurse has to switch between different products during kangaroo mother care. However, it's not easy to combine everything together. We had to consider what is best for helping the contact between the baby and the mother. Meanwhile we had to improve the workflow of the nurse. For solving this question we did a lot of user observation, made a few interviews with different experts and tried many different prototype for the best ergonomic design.
TEAM MEMBERS (4) :
Jiachun Du, Sylvie Claes, Lisa Malou Smits and Miguel Cabral Guerra
Lisa Malou Smits
Copyrights belong to Technology University of Eindhoven, 2015