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A medical device which reduces the noise inside neonatal incubators and avoids the hearing deprivation of sounds (heartbeat, breathing, or voices) which patients would receive while in the womb.

  • NeoSine. In the image, it is not extended and it is possible to notice the protection pads.

  • Video where it is possible to see the use of NeoSine inside an incubator, next to a patient.

    Video where it is possible to see the use of NeoSine inside an incubator, next to a patient.

  • Simulation where NeoSine is used next to a premature patient inside an incubator.

  • NeoSine usability and extensibility for heads of patients between 28 and 37 weeks.

  • NeoSine exploded image. All the parts that make up the device can be observed.

  • Image where the inside of NeoSine can be seen, highlighting the casings and electronic components.

What it does

An innovative device that solves two problems that currently exist in incubators: noise and auditory deprivation. To do this, it makes use of active noise cancellation, through a circuit that consists of two speakers that also emit sounds from the parents.

Your inspiration

After the study of soundproofing methods, active noise cancellation stood out for being very present nowadays. During the research phase, a study was carried out on acoustics and the different methods and tools used to acoustically condition spaces, but in the case of NICUs is different. To allow greater adaptability and avoid modification of already existing spaces in hospitals and incubators already in use, and to avoid carrying out installations, I decided to design an independent and wireless device, able to be used at will and to be withdrawn or inserted in any instant.

How it works

NeoSine is a device that implements active noise cancellation technology to attenuate harmful sound waves perceived by patients. By using a circuit that incorporates two speakers and four microphones, noise waves are recorded and later processed on the PCB to convert them into waves that counteract the noise. In addition, thanks to the speakers already present, sounds such as heartbeats or voices coming from the parents are reproduced, to stimulate the auditory and cognitive development of the patients and avoid the appearance of stress and other anomalies. The device also incorporates parts that serve as protection pads against possible contact with patients, although to ensure greater safety, a safe distance has been maintained between the head and NeoSine. In addition, it is possible to regulate the amplitude of the device, allowing it to be adapted to different heads of patients between 28 and 37 weeks.

Design process

The design process for this device began after completing a research process that lasted several months, in collaboration with the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. Thanks to the interviews, visits to the NICU, and multiple investigations, it was possible to extract a list of all the problems presented by current neonatal incubators, among which was the need for an improvement in acoustic conditioning. After this extraction, a second phase of investigation was carried out, to verify in depth the selected problem. For years, multiple studies point to this as a problem that affects premature patients in their vital signs and general development, especially in the auditory and cognitive systems. After this phase and carrying out a market study, I proceeded to the ideation phase, where through sketches, the aesthetic and formal limitations of the product were delimited, and they were reformulated until a valid option was achieved and superior to the rest. Later, in the implementation phase, it was ensured that all the parts were optimized and prepared for manufacturing, a selection of materials and industrial processes, cost analysis, life cycle analysis, and prototyping were carried out, in this case by FDM 3D printing. The result was exhibited at the ELISAVA Degree Show 2023.

How it is different

NeoSine has a high potential in the market since it would be an innovative device that would help to solve an existing and little-known problem. For an affordable price, it would help reduce noise and improve the patient's hearing deprivation status. In addition, it would not interfere with visibility from the outside of the incubator, and it would not compromise accessibility thanks to the fact that it is wireless and does not use external cables, and does not block the entrances of the hood. It would also not be necessary to modify the incubators since it could be inserted and extracted from the interior without difficulty. In addition, it is made of recyclable materials, with pieces manufactured locally, achieving a greater commitment to sustainability and the environment. It is an innovative product, thanks to the null competition present in the current market that, through a market study, it was possible to verify.

Future plans

NeoSine has a promising future, thanks to its zero competition and ability to solve problems not well known in the current healthcare market. Regarding the development stage, the parts were optimized and prepared for manufacturing, so a final review and testing would be required. On the other hand, in the implementation phase, a cost analysis was carried out using a manufacturing hypothesis of 1000 units. In addition, possible materials and industrial processes were consulted and manufacturers. Thus, the plan for the future would consist of finishing the development of the commercialization of NeoSine.


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