“There is no better feeling than the movement of life inside you.”
I’m sure mama’s and to-be-mama’s will agree, the excitement that a life inside the womb brings in. It is the beginning of a new hope, a new dream full of pure love. Honestly, all of God’s grace is in that one tiny face, we bring into this world.
But this journey could go eerie for few of us. Due to lifestyle changes, frequent health issues, abundance of chemical exposures, unwanted stress, Preterm birth stats have been soaring. Not just in India, but globally preterm births have seen an increase.
Preterm babies and NICU :
Did you know that 1 in 10 babies are born preterm and around 1 million children die each year, due to complications of preterm birth? ~Basis WHO report
These figures are quite scary and a mum can easily get goosebumps reading these stats. We can never afford to lose our beloved neonates, they are more precious than our own lives. A Preterm baby is one who is born alive before 37 weeks of gestation. While the normal gestation is around 39-40 weeks, babies who take birth before 37 weeks can be classified as :
- Extremely preterm, babies born in less than 28 weeks
- Very preterm, babies born between 28 to 32 weeks
- Moderate to late preterm, babies born between 32 to 37 weeks
Neonates who are born preterm are quite vulnerable with respect to many developmental and growth factors. They are more prone towards acquired infections, damage to critical organs as lungs, brains and senses. This results in various disorders and developmental delays for preterm babies. Preterm birth complications are also major cause of death for children below 5 years. Although, 70%-75% premature babies can be saved, but that requires quick action, an accurate monitoring, advanced clinical interventions and an effective care.
India has the highest preterm birth rate in the world, accounting for 23% of preterm babies born globally.
Current care for preterm babies :
Newborn babies /Preterm babies in the need intensive medical care are admitted into NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Infants are kept under consistent monitoring, with respect to nutrition, vital performances and to observe the impact of treatment. All these are monitored manually every hour or so by nurses and doctors. Recently, I got a chance to attend the launch of eNICU by Apollo Cradle, where dignitaries as Dr. Anupam Sibal (Medical director, Apollo Hospitals group), Dr. Avneet Kaur (Senior consultant, Neonatology, Apollo Cradle), Dr. Gaurav Jawa (Senior Neonatology and Paediatric Consultant , Apollo Cradle) were present.
Dr. Avneet Kaur shared, “Even the calculations of drug dosage and nutrition, as per the changing weight of the baby, are done manually. The real-time data such as heart rate, coming from devices connected to the baby, is noted manually (on an hourly basis by considering only the maximum/average values).”
This manual intervention can result in lots of errors. Also the data by these devices is usually stored for 72 hours only, so lots of analytics, historical understanding’s could remain uncharted. This gap was identified by Apollo Hospitals and then began the process of integrating advanced technology into clinical procedures.
What is eNICU by Apollo Hospital?
“eNICU combines advanced technology, predictive modelling with automated workflows for the most specialized and effective care of babies.”The workflow is automated from the day a baby is admitted in NICU, till the discharge day. It is a form of conglomeration of data from multiple monitoring devices into a single interface. The data is stored on the cloud, so that health care professionals can access it anytime, without worries of losing it in 72 hours. To reduce the errors, this system has automatic calculators. These calculators are are used for analysing, ordering, prescribing and monitoring the feed and medication status of a baby in NICU. Even the progress notes and discharge summary is generated during the hospital stay of the baby.
Benefits of eNICU :
This advanced integration has been done across 100+ chains of Apollo Cradle Hospitals, a specialized chain for Mother-baby experience. Here are some benefits of eNICU :
- Real time monitoring and data reporting of the baby (more so preterm baby in NICU) : This enhances the efficiency, as it supports quick and precise clinical decisions basis neonate’s performance.
- Predictive modelling : Many factors are contemplated by the inbuilt algorithms, which helps in predicting the clinical conditions of a baby in the upcoming days. For example, It can predict the possible infection a baby might suffer from.
- Enabling remote access, in the form of hub-spoke model across all the chains of Apollo Cradle . This would help nurses and resident doctors to attain help on quick clinical decisions during critical times from their hub zones.
- Zero manual errors : No manual intervention is required from nurses and doctors, as all readings are automated and this results in a better accuracy.
- Complete track of clinical data and outcomes : Important for historical readings and data analysing.
- Deep analytics for effective care of a preterm baby.
Doesn’t that sounds a landmark advancement from Apollo Hospitals for the Apollo Cradle chain? Personally, I feel that this integration needs to be replicated across all hospitals in India, to have a better survival rate amongst Preterm babies .
We need this one giant leap forward. Thanks Apollo hospitals for spreading the joy of motherhood. A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty.
Have a blessed Motherhood!