Two million four hundred thousand babies are born in the U.S. alone each year with jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia. Eighty percent of premature infants are born with this disorder. Most of these jaundiced newborns do not go home with their mothers; other more fortunate jaundice babies are discharged with their mothers, but at home are confined to an immobile blanket therapy device.
This novel bilisuit is a form-fitting garment that delivers light to the infant from LEDs through a fiber optic system. This light provides the photo conversion of bilirubin to reduce its concentration in tissues and treat the jaundice or other conditions requiring phototherapy, including, but not limited to, hyperbilirubinemia in infants. The BiliSuit therapy offers normal mobility and parental bonding opportunities to the recovering infant who does not have to remain in neonatal intensive care.
In the BiliSuit a reflective liner within the bodysuit redirects irradiation from the LED through the fiber to toward the skin, thereby not wasting any of the applied energy. The device is water proof and is powered by a rechargeable battery.
A base unit has the potential capabilities for biofeedback and data logging systems.
This novel, washable reusable or disposable therapy device should dramatically reduce the healthcare costs associated with the current standard of care which in most cases requires keeping the infant in the neonatal intensive care unit for several days.
Prototype and proof of concept are currently in-work.
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09-03 (D) Pressler, et al ACHRI - joint owner