Inspiration I observed that Neonatal doctors and nurses are forced to all participate in a routine procedure called Radial Artery Cannulation. This procedure is used to gain access to the babies’ blood for monitoring his health. I envisioned there must be a more efficient and easier way to do this apparently difficult procedure. The problems the doctors and nurses is lack of stability of the babies arm. The doctors also lack accurate visual input to where the radial artery is located. Thus, I focused on improving the armboard which is a critical device used in the procedure.
What it does The device is a full makeover of the traditional neonatal armboard. NeoPlank has ability to restrain the elbow thus provide more stability to the doctor. First it will keep the baby from moving it elbow while the doctor and nurses set up. Second and most importantly, it will eliminate the reflex that occurs when the doctor penetrates the skin and into the artery. NeoPlank also gives doctor the ability to more easily see the arteries in the babies’ arms due to a red light source embedded into the device. The device also has the ability to accommodate for different arm lengths and proportions with its Velcro that can be moved along the length of the NeoPlank.
How I built it I built it with a CAD software and 3D printer.
Challenges I ran into Dimensioning the devices to fit for babies was a challenge. Another challenge was forming the device around a human arm.
Accomplishments I am proud It was confirmed by other Neonatal doctors that they rather use device than the traditional device. Thus, I was able to make a positive difference in the Neonatal field.
What I learned I learned how to apply human factors in a medical device.
What’s next for NeoPlank NeoPlank will be fitted with stiff medical grade material.Also, a segment of the armboard will be made out of semi-resistant material to better accommodate different parts of the body. Finally, the device will be covered in foam or any neonatal-skin-proof material.