The worldwide incidence of premature birth ranges between 6 and 11 percent. Hence, there are a lot of requirements for Neonatal units in Hospitals. Neonatal units should have many specialized equipment & environment to take care of newborn baby. One of the most important equipment is called Incubator. Incubator, an insulated enclosure in which temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions can be regulated at levels optimal for growth. Most infant incubators are also fitted with special devices that can control the concentration of oxygen inside the incubator.

Some incubators are closed boxes with hand holes on the side. This helps keep the heat and humidity inside the incubator, stopping too much moisture evaporating from baby’s fine skin. Temperature Monitoring in Incubators Ideally, the humidity inside the incubator should be about 50% RH. The incubator is typically set so that the baby can maintain a body temperature of between 95 and 98.6 degrees F i.e. about 35 to 37 degree C.

The temperature is controlled in two ways – either with controls or using an automatic sensor on your baby’s skin. If the sensor falls off or is not working properly, an alarm sounds to alert nursing staff for immediate attention Alerts can be generated through digital means using Sensor with Digitizer / Processor, where the prime requirement is measurement of temperature accurately in the range 95 to 98.6 degrees F i.e. about 35 to 37 degree C. 

The sensor should be such that it should not hurt baby’s soft skin, as metal based sensor gets heated up in Electromagnetic field of MRI. If put on a ventilator or other breathing apparatus, oxygen supply should also be close to body temperature, not too cold or too hot. Fiber based sensors of RM are quite accurate up to 0.2 °C, immune to any EMI/ESD and even Nuclear Radiation and does not get heated up while in MRI unlike metal sensor (to avoid burning of skin), no requirement of power for sensor since passive in nature, no calibration required and Plug & Play operation. It can be used safely to measure temperature of the body, Incubator enclosure, oxygen supply line etc.

The schematics of GaAs based temperature sensor of Rugged Monitoring. LSENSP type sensor can be connected to Fiber channel monitor L201, which is the smallest configuration of monitor with the least no of channels for cost optimization. The specification of which are elaborated below.

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