Wires have long been passé in devices for communication; computers today rely on WiFi and Bluetooth to upload and download data. You don’t even need wires anymore to recharge devices; and soon we will even see devices that recharge through the air.
That wireless revolution has yet to hit the hospital — or at least the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where premature babies are taken to develop in a safe, monitored environment. That monitoring entails connecting the babies to a raft of monitors, patches, and especially wires. Our company, Blue Fairy, is developing monitoring systems for NICUs that keep track of the condition of preemies, wirelessly — and accurately, complete with all the warnings, alarms, messages, and everything else doctors, nurses, and staff need to know to keep track of babies. It is a unique and innovative solution to a major problem — and it is the reason WeWork has recognized us with a Creator Award.
One reason this has not been tried on a large scale until now is because of the complicated nature of NICU monitoring. Babies in the NICU are surrounded by the most progressive medical equipment, but they also need other things, like TLC (tender loving care) and a strong physical and psychological bonding with their caregiver, which comes in the form of “Kangaroo holding.” This is a technique used for all newborns, providing a comforting feeling for both the parent and the baby. Parents — both fathers and mothers — are encouraged to hug and hold their babies in a “Kangaroo” position, sitting with the baby placed against his or her bare chest with a shirt or a blanket, covering both the baby and parent. The benefits of kangaroo holding include promoting attachment and bonding between the parent and the baby, reducing stress for the baby and for the parent, helping the baby to gain weight, stabilizing the baby’s heart rate and breathing patterns, increasing milk production (and thus improving breastfeeding).
Preemies need that kind of care as well — but with all the wires and connections, it is difficult for parents to hold their babies properly. When parents try to pick up their babies under these circumstances, there is a danger that wires could get disconnected — setting off alarms, and summoning staff that will likely impose further restrictions on when and how parents can handle their babies. “Kangaroo” time gets compromised, too — with the babies that need the most warmth and encouragement from their parents denied the touch that could help them grow.
But with our wireless system, the wires are eliminated, making it much easier for parents to bond with their babies. In addition, the system enables the use of non-adhesive electrodes and sensors, preventing skin lesions. The sensors can be built into the clothing of the baby, thus eliminating the need for the harsh patches that are usually attached to an infant. Our system integrates all wires, electrodes, sensors and clothes into one, soft and smart textile garment. Its holistic configuration and wireless features allow an approachable and progressive treatment by medical teams and parents.
All that impressed WeWork, which presented us with one of the three Creator awards presented to incubating companies. With the award, we hope to be able to develop more opportunities to present and share our vision to the Wework community, and beyond, developing more and new connections in the tech and business world. Thanks to the WeWork Creator Award we have been able to move towards bringing our vision to life.
RSVP for WeWork’s Creator Jerusalem event on June 20 to meet Creators who are changing our world for the better: https://we.co/jerusalem-creator
Merav Vax is the Co-Founder & CEO of Blue Fairy Med. She has over 15 years of experience as a product designer and as a founder & manager of two high-end textile companies in Israel and the US.
Sharon Tomer is the Co-Founder & CTO of Blue Fairy Med. She has over 15 years of experience in project and R&D management in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry.
In this unique partnership between the Times of Israel and WeWork’s Creator Awards, we invite you to meet innovators from across the country and learn more about their stories and how they are making the world a better place.