Optimization of Phototherapy Machine for Advanced Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice
Neonatal Jaundice is a medical condition in which high number of unconjugated bilirubin exists in infant’s blood resulting in yellowish colour of baby’s skin and whites of the eye. Unconjugated bilirubin is potentially toxic to neural tissue both brain and spinal cord. Entry of unconjugated bilirubin into the brain can cause both short-term and long-term neurological dysfunction, bilirubin encephalopathy, which needs serious attention. Even though hospitals use phototherapy machine to treat jaundice, there are a number of gaps on the machine related to its effectiveness. Among the gaps long hospitalization time, biological hazards from strong optical radiation and limitation to higher hospitals are the major ones. The main objective of this research was to optimize phototherapy machine for advanced treatment of neonatal jaundice. Before optimization activities, necessary clinical study was performed and the results from the clinical study were used as an input for optimization work. The optimization work included integration of non-invasive bilirubin measurement, light intensity measurement, back treatment and different power supply options to overcome the gaps. The actual device using 465 nm light emitting diode was developed and tested against specifications. Non-invasive measurement system avoids invasive bilirubin measurement, comfortable and makes tracking treatment progress easier. Addressing all skin surface of a baby by the device improves treatment efficiency and plays vital role in baby to mother bond as it reduces treatment time.