Rely on engineers for your baby's health

Belinda Bantham -- Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:25

Rely on engineers for your baby's health

Those who have the privilege of bringing a child into this life want to ensure that their baby receives the best possible healthcare and that abnormal health issues are diagnosed and addressed as soon as possible if this occurs.

To measure a newborn baby's weight, height and outer limits of the head over a period of at least two years, is very important to determine whether the baby experiences healthy growth. These measurement results can often give a good indication of the degree of brain development, bone development, malnutrition, obesity or normal growth. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that faulty or defective devices are often found in clinics and hospitals that play a major role in monitoring your baby's health. This availability of these basic devices is furthermore often lacking in state facilities.

Experts at the North-West University's Faculty of Engineering have come up with research that can eliminate this problem. Prof Leenta Grobler's research on an automated baby scale which does measurements digitally, without the possibility of human error or inaccuracies is currently in the development phase. "The scale is designed so that it offers the least irritation or discomfort to the baby. During a process where the baby is placed in the scale for a few seconds, electronic measurements are made by means of surrounding sensors mounted on the scale,” says Prof Grobler.

The scale's automated technology enables the results to be made available electronically, immediately after the measurements are completed, without the possibility that a person may make a mistake while recording the results on the baby’s file.

“The development of the baby scale has to go through a final round of fine-tuning to make sure it works accurately. Once completed, we will apply for permission from the North-West University Ethics Committee to do certain tests of this device on human subjects. If everything goes according to plan, we will be able to offer this device to clinics and hospitals in the near future,” says Prof Grobler.