Linda Vu – Independent Project

Linda Vu – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

Take one step further into the field of pediatrics and you will fall deep into even more subspecialized categories such as neonatology, the branch of medicine dealing with the medical care of newborn infants. My experience in neonatology provided me with the opportunity to witness the rising opioid drug-use in my local town. Its effects spread to newborn infants who were born from drug-addicted mothers. Seeing the result of this drug epidemic significantly inspired me to choose neonatology as the primary focus of my project. I wanted to learn the importance of prenatal care and find a solution to reduce the symptoms of drug-dependent newborns in Harford County.      

Project Description

Back in sophomore year, I began volunteering in the Family Birthplace department at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. It was a grand experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and decided this is what I want to pursue in my future. I continued this experience onto senior year for my independent project but soon decided to transition into the role of a shadowing student with the help of Mrs. Suzanne Canavan. As a shadowing student, I was able to witness more c-sections than I could count on my fingers. Seeing first-hand the work of obstetricians was a privilege that I was extremely grateful for, but seeing the aftermath of some of the surgeries was truly frightening. There were many times where the newborn infants would come out with cold, shaking limbs because their mother decided to take drugs during her pregnancy. These events struck a chord in me and slowly developed into my interest in finding a means to reduce the symptoms faced by these drug addicted infants. My interest turned into a passion where I could voice my opinion on the rising opioid drug use in Harford County. I created three innovations that all intertwine with each other: a wireless electrode, stabilizer bracelet, and an app. My overall innovation is named NeoNote. It is intended to measure infant’s vital signs in current time through either the wireless electrode or bracelet and notify the infant’s mother of any abnormal behavior that may result in a potential seizure.            

Experience Description

The transition from a volunteer to a shadowing student in the Family Birthplace department at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a volunteer, my duties were very simple; I would file papers into cabinets, deliver snacks to patients, answer phone calls if the secretary was not in attendance, and occasionally help the nurses in the Special Care Nursery (Ullrich, 2016).

I was told switching to a shadowing student would provide me with much more abundant opportunities than volunteering would (Canavan, 2016). As a shadowing student, I was given permission to enter the Operating Room, which was prohibited to volunteers. Here, I witnessed numerous c-sections. I remember watching my first c-section when I began walking into the Operating Room for the first time. I thought I would surely pass out by watching the surgery, but I surprisingly did not. Rather, I almost passed out after the surgery when I saw the newborn infant severely shaking from head to toe due to what the physician later diagnosed as neonatal abstinence syndrome. This initial event truly changed my shadowing experience and is what inspired me to create my innovation, NeoNote.

Being able to witness operations up close in the Operating Room has been an extremely amusing and interesting experience that I am very grateful for. It was definitely worth it to become a shadowing student because it guaranteed me access to multiple locked rooms and personal, friendly relationships to my nurses and physicians. The nurses and OB/GYN have always been kind and courteous to me, despite my minimal knowledge of medical vocabulary. After my shadowing rotation with the Operating Room, I took away the lesson that checklists are significantly important when it comes time for surgery in the before, during, and after stages.

        More opportunities were provided to me as my shadowing experience gradually progressed each month. In September, I started forming a new organizing system for the storage closets and to this day, it is still being implemented by the nurses in their daily routines. It’s absolutely fascinating seeing how something I randomly thought of in the beginning of my volunteer experience change into a daily occurrence for the nurses. I, also, learned of the various diseases that could affect pregnant women and impact their newborn infants such as preeclampsia (Lauren, 2017). From my lesson learned, I thought of developing a new test that would quickly detect the condition and provide results in less than 30 minutes. However, I stuck with my idea to create a wireless electrode, stabilizer bracelet, and NeoNote app for my innovations. In March, I was given the opportunity to voice my opinion on the rising drug epidemic in Harford County. To be completely honest, I was scared and shaking with nerves when it was time for me to speak in front of a room full of 35+ year old adults. That was one of the first times in which I received a standing ovation. With my shadowing physician, we also attended multiple seminars; the most recent was one dedicated entirely to 3D printing in the medial world. Two words to describe my experiences in this particular seminar: mind blown. I viewed what real life 3D printed body parts looked like; the most fascinating was a 3D printed heart. I greatly appreciated every individual second of my shadowing experience and would love to repeat it all over again perhaps as a medical school student in 7 years time.

Innovation Description

The name I gave for my biomedical innovation is NeoNote. It has the ability to track procedures and attack seizures. Initially, I began developing NeoNote as a wireless electrode that would measure the vital signs of newborn infants, particularly those born with drug addiction. It would capture the infant’s vital signs in current time and any abnormal behavior would result in NeoNote warning the infant’s mother of a possible oncoming seizure. Thinking of my innovation took only a few seconds, but finding research and planning on how to create it took an extensive amount of time. I discussed my idea with my mentor, Nurse Brandi, who was thrilled to hear that I was making good use of my shadowing experience (Brandi, 2017). Each week, I would shadow for 3 hours and would end up talking to my shadowing nurse for about an hour each week. This continued for a consecutive 2 and ½ months, totaling 10 hours of mentorship and conversation. She was the main source that I looked to for advice on how to improve my innovation.

I started my NeoNote wireless electrode as a simple sketch on a piece of paper that was scribbled while I was shadowing in the Special Care Nursery back in October. I was watching over a newborn infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome and holding it in my arms when all of a sudden, it began to experience a seizure lasting almost 10 minutes. During that time, one of the wires from the electrode slipped causing the baby monitor to beep extremely loudly which resulted in a major distraction in the nursery. What made matters worse was how tangled the newborn infant’s legs were with the wires. While the infant was shaking uncontrollably, the wires from the electrodes managed to wrap around its legs leading the infant to cry even more. This event went down in history as one of the most traumatic and hectic events in both my shadowing experience and in my entire life.

From there, the complexity that ensued when the wires became tangled allowed me to think of my current NeoNote wireless electrode. Commonly, wires are connected to small monitoring pads known as electrodes that would detect a newborn infant’s chest movements as it breathed along with the impulses of its heartbeat. My wireless electrode would perform relatively the exact same tasks as an electrode with wires, though, it would be much less of a hassle and ten times more easier to use. I spent 10 hours researching the resources required to make an electrode, especially one that would be wireless (Richard Ng, 2002). The interior of my wireless electrode would be composed of: an ECG sensor to measure infant’s vital signs, an amplifier to collect and transfer data, circuit board, micro-usb charging port, low-power radio chip, and antenna to connect to Bluetooth. The exterior is made of a flexible, hypoallergenic material which would attach onto the newborn infant’s body noninvasively through the use of replaceable adhesive stickers.

My small talk with the head of technology at Upper Chesapeake, in addition, to a 3D seminar which I attended significantly taught me that I needed to expand my NeoNote innovation. The wireless electrode would now be able to measure the newborn infant’s heartbeat, oxygen levels, temperature, and growth progress. I, later, developed the NeoNote stabilizer bracelet as a second option. The stabilizer bracelet would have the wireless electrode attached onto it, but perform more tasks. For example, when a newborn infant was having a seizure, the bracelet would vibrate along with the infant while counteracting the infant’s movement. This would then stabilize the infants wrist and hands.

There were days when I would go to patient’s rooms to aid them and have conversations with them. They taught me how to appeal to my audience more, also known as the mothers who would buy my innovation if it became a reality in the future. From this, I decided to make my innovation three different colors: teal, pink, and yellow. I spent a total of 2 hours at home utilizing SketchUp as the main tool for designing both my NeoNote wireless electrode and stabilizer bracelet. I wanted to utilize the 3D printing machine at my school to develop my innovation, but the finished product would be of a hard and dense material, which I did not like. I went on to create an app that would go with my two innovations known as the NeoNote app. I spent another 2 hours in creating the final app and then researching the HIPAA contract/terms and conditions necessary for a medical app (Services, 2017). My NeoNote app would record the vital signs of the newborn infants as their wireless electrode or bracelet would measure it in current time. This would provide notifications and a loud warning sound to the infant’s mothers if any abnormal behavior indicating an oncoming seizure would occur.        

Due to the hard material of 3D printing at my school, I resorted to using model clay to create my prototype of both my NeoNote wireless electrode and stabilizer bracelet. It turned out to look decent after 1 hour of careful sculpting, but I decided to look for a place that used flexible material for their 3D printing. I finally found a decent place and am currently printing a flexible stabilizer bracelet. My NeoNote innovations were inspired by current technology such as the FitBit and baby monitors, however, it will be made of a much cheaper material that will be available to families of all incomes. It is geared toward a growing audience, mothers and their newborn infants. It will perform tasks at a more efficient and accurate speed.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

Take one step further into the field of pediatrics and you will fall deep into even more subspecialized categories such as neonatology, the branch of medicine dealing with the medical care of newborn infants. My experience in neonatology provided me with the opportunity to witness the rising opioid drug-use in my local town. Its effects spread to newborn infants who were born from drug-addicted mothers. Seeing the result of this drug epidemic significantly inspired me to choose neonatology as the primary focus of my project. I wanted to learn the importance of prenatal care and find a solution to reduce the symptoms of drug-dependent newborns in Harford County.      

Project Overview

Project Description

Back in sophomore year, I began volunteering in the Family Birthplace department at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. It was a grand experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and decided this is what I want to pursue in my future. I continued this experience onto senior year for my independent project but soon decided to transition into the role of a shadowing student with the help of Mrs. Suzanne Canavan. As a shadowing student, I was able to witness more c-sections than I could count on my fingers. Seeing first-hand the work of obstetricians was a privilege that I was extremely grateful for, but seeing the aftermath of some of the surgeries was truly frightening. There were many times where the newborn infants would come out with cold, shaking limbs because their mother decided to take drugs during her pregnancy. These events struck a chord in me and slowly developed into my interest in finding a means to reduce the symptoms faced by these drug addicted infants. My interest turned into a passion where I could voice my opinion on the rising opioid drug use in Harford County. I created three innovations that all intertwine with each other: a wireless electrode, stabilizer bracelet, and an app. My overall innovation is named NeoNote. It is intended to measure infant’s vital signs in current time through either the wireless electrode or bracelet and notify the infant’s mother of any abnormal behavior that may result in a potential seizure.            

Experience

Experience Description

The transition from a volunteer to a shadowing student in the Family Birthplace department at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a volunteer, my duties were very simple; I would file papers into cabinets, deliver snacks to patients, answer phone calls if the secretary was not in attendance, and occasionally help the nurses in the Special Care Nursery (Ullrich, 2016).

I was told switching to a shadowing student would provide me with much more abundant opportunities than volunteering would (Canavan, 2016). As a shadowing student, I was given permission to enter the Operating Room, which was prohibited to volunteers. Here, I witnessed numerous c-sections. I remember watching my first c-section when I began walking into the Operating Room for the first time. I thought I would surely pass out by watching the surgery, but I surprisingly did not. Rather, I almost passed out after the surgery when I saw the newborn infant severely shaking from head to toe due to what the physician later diagnosed as neonatal abstinence syndrome. This initial event truly changed my shadowing experience and is what inspired me to create my innovation, NeoNote.

Being able to witness operations up close in the Operating Room has been an extremely amusing and interesting experience that I am very grateful for. It was definitely worth it to become a shadowing student because it guaranteed me access to multiple locked rooms and personal, friendly relationships to my nurses and physicians. The nurses and OB/GYN have always been kind and courteous to me, despite my minimal knowledge of medical vocabulary. After my shadowing rotation with the Operating Room, I took away the lesson that checklists are significantly important when it comes time for surgery in the before, during, and after stages.

        More opportunities were provided to me as my shadowing experience gradually progressed each month. In September, I started forming a new organizing system for the storage closets and to this day, it is still being implemented by the nurses in their daily routines. It’s absolutely fascinating seeing how something I randomly thought of in the beginning of my volunteer experience change into a daily occurrence for the nurses. I, also, learned of the various diseases that could affect pregnant women and impact their newborn infants such as preeclampsia (Lauren, 2017). From my lesson learned, I thought of developing a new test that would quickly detect the condition and provide results in less than 30 minutes. However, I stuck with my idea to create a wireless electrode, stabilizer bracelet, and NeoNote app for my innovations. In March, I was given the opportunity to voice my opinion on the rising drug epidemic in Harford County. To be completely honest, I was scared and shaking with nerves when it was time for me to speak in front of a room full of 35+ year old adults. That was one of the first times in which I received a standing ovation. With my shadowing physician, we also attended multiple seminars; the most recent was one dedicated entirely to 3D printing in the medial world. Two words to describe my experiences in this particular seminar: mind blown. I viewed what real life 3D printed body parts looked like; the most fascinating was a 3D printed heart. I greatly appreciated every individual second of my shadowing experience and would love to repeat it all over again perhaps as a medical school student in 7 years time.

Innovation

Innovation Description

The name I gave for my biomedical innovation is NeoNote. It has the ability to track procedures and attack seizures. Initially, I began developing NeoNote as a wireless electrode that would measure the vital signs of newborn infants, particularly those born with drug addiction. It would capture the infant’s vital signs in current time and any abnormal behavior would result in NeoNote warning the infant’s mother of a possible oncoming seizure. Thinking of my innovation took only a few seconds, but finding research and planning on how to create it took an extensive amount of time. I discussed my idea with my mentor, Nurse Brandi, who was thrilled to hear that I was making good use of my shadowing experience (Brandi, 2017). Each week, I would shadow for 3 hours and would end up talking to my shadowing nurse for about an hour each week. This continued for a consecutive 2 and ½ months, totaling 10 hours of mentorship and conversation. She was the main source that I looked to for advice on how to improve my innovation.

I started my NeoNote wireless electrode as a simple sketch on a piece of paper that was scribbled while I was shadowing in the Special Care Nursery back in October. I was watching over a newborn infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome and holding it in my arms when all of a sudden, it began to experience a seizure lasting almost 10 minutes. During that time, one of the wires from the electrode slipped causing the baby monitor to beep extremely loudly which resulted in a major distraction in the nursery. What made matters worse was how tangled the newborn infant’s legs were with the wires. While the infant was shaking uncontrollably, the wires from the electrodes managed to wrap around its legs leading the infant to cry even more. This event went down in history as one of the most traumatic and hectic events in both my shadowing experience and in my entire life.

From there, the complexity that ensued when the wires became tangled allowed me to think of my current NeoNote wireless electrode. Commonly, wires are connected to small monitoring pads known as electrodes that would detect a newborn infant’s chest movements as it breathed along with the impulses of its heartbeat. My wireless electrode would perform relatively the exact same tasks as an electrode with wires, though, it would be much less of a hassle and ten times more easier to use. I spent 10 hours researching the resources required to make an electrode, especially one that would be wireless (Richard Ng, 2002). The interior of my wireless electrode would be composed of: an ECG sensor to measure infant’s vital signs, an amplifier to collect and transfer data, circuit board, micro-usb charging port, low-power radio chip, and antenna to connect to Bluetooth. The exterior is made of a flexible, hypoallergenic material which would attach onto the newborn infant’s body noninvasively through the use of replaceable adhesive stickers.

My small talk with the head of technology at Upper Chesapeake, in addition, to a 3D seminar which I attended significantly taught me that I needed to expand my NeoNote innovation. The wireless electrode would now be able to measure the newborn infant’s heartbeat, oxygen levels, temperature, and growth progress. I, later, developed the NeoNote stabilizer bracelet as a second option. The stabilizer bracelet would have the wireless electrode attached onto it, but perform more tasks. For example, when a newborn infant was having a seizure, the bracelet would vibrate along with the infant while counteracting the infant’s movement. This would then stabilize the infants wrist and hands.

There were days when I would go to patient’s rooms to aid them and have conversations with them. They taught me how to appeal to my audience more, also known as the mothers who would buy my innovation if it became a reality in the future. From this, I decided to make my innovation three different colors: teal, pink, and yellow. I spent a total of 2 hours at home utilizing SketchUp as the main tool for designing both my NeoNote wireless electrode and stabilizer bracelet. I wanted to utilize the 3D printing machine at my school to develop my innovation, but the finished product would be of a hard and dense material, which I did not like. I went on to create an app that would go with my two innovations known as the NeoNote app. I spent another 2 hours in creating the final app and then researching the HIPAA contract/terms and conditions necessary for a medical app (Services, 2017). My NeoNote app would record the vital signs of the newborn infants as their wireless electrode or bracelet would measure it in current time. This would provide notifications and a loud warning sound to the infant’s mothers if any abnormal behavior indicating an oncoming seizure would occur.        

Due to the hard material of 3D printing at my school, I resorted to using model clay to create my prototype of both my NeoNote wireless electrode and stabilizer bracelet. It turned out to look decent after 1 hour of careful sculpting, but I decided to look for a place that used flexible material for their 3D printing. I finally found a decent place and am currently printing a flexible stabilizer bracelet. My NeoNote innovations were inspired by current technology such as the FitBit and baby monitors, however, it will be made of a much cheaper material that will be available to families of all incomes. It is geared toward a growing audience, mothers and their newborn infants. It will perform tasks at a more efficient and accurate speed.

By | 2017-05-15T16:01:04+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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