Medtech startup Bambi Medical uses the Delfin VapoMeter to study effects on the skin of premature babies by transepidermal water loss (TEWL)
Bambi Medical has developed a noninvasive, skin-friendly, wireless neonatal vital sign monitoring system, called Bambi Belt.
Interview of Deedee Kommers
Postdoctoral researcher at Máxima Medical Center & clinical consultant for Bambi Medical B.V.
Could you explain us what does the Bambi Medical and Maxima Medical Center do?
Bambi Medical B.V. is a med-tech start up company that develops a wireless, non-adhesive belt for neonatal cardio-respiratory monitoring. This likely more skin-friendly, neonatal vital sign monitoring system accomplishes the same functions as wired adhesive electrode systems currently implemented in neonatal departments, including neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The monitoring system consists of a disposable belt (Bambi Belt), which functions by being wrapped around a baby’s chest. Sensors integrated inside Bambi Belt measure critical data in a nonintrusive way, while Bambi Bridge (a small module at the end of Bambi Belt) sends the captured data to Bambi Monitor. This solution works either stand-alone or in combination with existing patient monitors within the hospital infrastructure. The wireless features facilitate parents to take their baby out of the incubator and perform Kangaroo Mother Care. Clinical studies comparing the skin friendliness and monitoring performance of the Bambi Belt Solution versus standard adhesive electrodes are currently being mounted.
Máxima Medical Center (MMC) is a hospital situated in the South of the Netherlands, with a tertiary level NICU consisting of 18 operated bed-spaces to provide care for critically ill infants in the dedicated region. Amongst others, both family centered care and skin care are spearheads of the MMC NICU. As such, over the past three years, the MMC has loaned Delfin VapoMeters to regularly measure transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in patients to obtain insight into influences of incubator temperature and humidity on TEWL. In addition, clinical studies investigating the performance of potentially skin friendlier and more family centered (wireless) monitoring solutions are mounted in MMC, of which currently one includes the use of Delfin VapoMeters as well.
What are the research questions that you have tried to solve with the Delfin VapoMeter?
The Delfin VapoMeter has been regularly used over the past three years to assess influences of incubator temperature and humidity on TEWL in neonates, as part of quality maintenance processes in the hospital (aimed at evaluating local guidelines).
Additionally, TEWL as measured with the Delfin VapoMeter is used as one of the outcome measures defining skin condition, in studies investigating the research question “Are skin conditions better when exposed to device A, compared to device B?”.
Why did you select the Delfin VapoMeter among other options for TEWL measurements?
- Validated TEWL measurements, including reportings of use in incubators / neonates
- Fast and non-invasive TEWL measurements
- CE certified for this purpose
- Wireless TEWL measuring
- TEWL outcome not dependent on position of the device (angle of device vs skin may vary)
- Easy to read the TEWL outcome from the display
- Easy to clean the device
How have you been utilizing the Delfin VapoMeter in your work?
I have been using the Delfin VapoMeter in my work by regularly obtaining TEWL measurements in many different neonates, at different skin locations, under varying incubator temperature and humidity settings.
What have been the main benefits of the Delfin VapoMeter for you so far?
The benefits are that we are able to obtain insight into skin condition and the influences of incubator temperature and humidity settings on the barrier function of the skin in (preterm) infants. We can obtain these insights in a very non-invasive, fast and easy way.
What results have you achieved with the Delfin VapoMeter?
- Confirmation of the following literature findings in our own population: increasing gestational age and increasing post menstrual age are associated with a reduction in TEWL.
- A preliminary indication (in non-research setting, local quality project not aimed for scientific publication) of incubator humidity and temperature influences on neonates: at early post menstrual age, high TEWL can be compensated by (higher) incubator humidity, since high humidity is associated with reduced TEWL. High temperature on the other hand is associated with higher TEWL. Early in life (low post menstrual age), both incubator humidity and temperature settings are – per guideline, routinely – high. A lowest possible temperature (while still maintaining desirable body temperature for the patient) combined with a high humidity may be desirable when focusing on TEWL.
Has the Delfin VapoMeter solved the research problem to which it was acquired for?
The problem (optimizing skin care) is a process and as such it is not solved, it is ongoing. Evaluate and optimize skin care as based on many different aspects. The first aspects of focus are incubator humidity and temperature settings, but also the use of monitoring devices, and more aspects (like medication etcetera) can be included.
What features are you most happy with the Delfin VapoMeter?
The ease of use: a non-invasive, non-burdening manner of determining TEWL. In other words, the safe, clean and easy way in which valuable additional information can be obtained.
Delfin Technologies Ltd.
Did you know?
Each year about 15 million babies are born preterm before the 37th week of pregnancy, the number constantly increasing. The correct incubator conditions are essential for the preterm babies to stay warm and monitoring the babies vital signs − cardiac function (ECG), temperature and respiration – are of great importance. Currently, the wires used to monitor the babies make it difficult to ensure sufficient amount of skin contact between the babies and their mothers.
Bambi Medical is trying to solve this problem with the noninvasive baby monitoring belt. Read more https://www.bambi-medical.com/#bambimedical
The Delfin VapoMeter
The Delfin VapoMeter is an instrument to measure transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in-vivo and other evaporation rates in vitro with a closed chamber measurement principle. The VapoMeter is CE marked and classified as a medical device within European Union.