Hundreds of babies are born every minute across the globe. Unfortunately, several of these babies are born premature, with the slightest chance of survival. Premature babies account for a large number of infant deaths. In the United States, one out of every baby is born premature. The earlier a baby is born, the more severe their health problems will be. In most cases, preterm infants will have to stay in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) until their organs are able to function independently and healthily (National Prematurity Awareness Month, 2013). From the beginning of the century, several scientists and doctors have collaborated to create innovative solutions like energy efficient and temperature monitoring incubators (Navaneethakrishnan & Neelamegam, 2012). These incubators are designed to control the temperature of premature babies and to also provide a safe environment for these ill babies to recover. When hundreds of babies are being born every minute, the issue of prematurity is a big issue and we should try to save as many lives as possible.
One of the last organs to mature in the womb are the lungs. As a result, many premature babies end up having to spend their first few days or weeks of their new life on a ventilator. Infant respiratory distress syndrome is one of the leading causes for illness in preterm infants. This syndrome often results from the inadequacy of surfactant, a fatty substance that coats the inside of the lungs and allows for the expansion of the lungs after birth. As an answer to this problem, several solutions have been made. For example, steroid hormones have been created to induce surfactant production (McNellis, 2012). Some women are given corticosteroids during pregnancy to speed surfactant production and lung development in a fetus. Surfactant could also be given through a breathing tube directly into the baby’s lungs (Martin, 2012). For breathing support, more and more infants today are using support from the Nasal Continuous Airway Pressure (NCPAP), which gently pushes air into the baby’s lungs through prongs placed on the infants’ nostrils (What Is Respiratory Distress Syndrome?, 2012).
Recently, the magnetic resonance compatible incubator (MR-compatible incubator) has proven to have several advantages in this field. For example, one of the greatest advantages of this incubator is that it is capable of providing a safe environment by optimizing thermoregulation during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations. In addition to the temperature and humidity regulators, the incubator also has built in head coils and auditory shielding, both refining the imaging process and the safety of the baby (Rona et al., 2010).
Another efficient incubator is the FPGA-based temperature monitoring and control system, used to measure and control temperature. This incubator requires very low power and computes five times faster than conventional systems (Navaneethakrishnan & Neelamegam, 2012). Recently, the solar...