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URI undergraduates develop Napnea system to monitor infant breathing – URI News

KINGSTON, RI – November 24, 2021 – Infant Apnea is defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as “an unexplained episode of stopping breathing for 20 seconds or more, or a shorter breathing pause associated with bradycardia, cyanosis, marked pallor and / or hypotonia.

Although infant apnea is very rarely fatal, it frightens the observer, and some theories even associate it with sudden infant death syndrome.

Afnan Altekreeti, a senior student biomedical genius at the University of Rhode Island, worked with peers Michaela Roberts and Dan Convey on a project called Napnea, which is a neonatal apnea detection system.

Afnan Altekreeti, biomedical engineering student at URI

The project is a continuation of a main design project Sarah Leighton and Madeline Seater worked on last year.

Napnea is a textile-based electronic respiratory monitoring system consisting of a flexible electronic chest belt integrated with a force sensor and computer system to monitor respiration, periodic breathing and apnea.

“The Napnea system shows promise as a cost-effective and user-friendly method to monitor respiration and apnea,” said Altekreeti. “The system processes real and urgent health data for the most vulnerable infants in our population. “

Altekreeti, Roberts and Convey conducted their research in the Wearable Biosensing Laboratory under the direction of Associate Professor Kunal Mankodiya.

“There were many obstacles to overcome and many nights spent working in the lab,” said Altekreeti, who lives in Warwick. “One of the technical challenges we faced was that the results from the breathing simulator were not 100% accurate at first. “

Another challenge was to prepare to present the project at an international conference in Washington, DC from December 16-18.

“We only learned about the opportunity to attend the conference a few weeks before the deadline, which made it difficult for us to prepare a proposal in a short period of time,” Altekreeti said.

The Connected Health Conference: Engineering Applications, Systems and Technologies is co-organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Altekreeti received a $ 600 award from the National Science Foundation to cover expenses related to his attendance at the conference. She will attend the conference with her mentor, Gözde Çay, PhD student in Computer Engineering at URI.

“Afnan has been a dedicated undergraduate researcher who is now taking the smart textiles project to a different level,” Mankodiya said. “This travel award is an example of his exceptional efforts which were shaped by his mentor Gözde Çay.”