Invictus Medical is dedicated to providing newborns with the chance to meet early health milestones that will positively affect the rest of their lives. Our first product to market, the GELShield™, alleviates extracranial pressure due to prolonged immobility in the hospital setting. Continuing our efforts in nurturing healthy infant development, we are currently exploring technologies that address the harmful effects of noise on infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Extracranial Pressure Relief
While in the hospital, infants are subject to extracranial pressure from prolonged periods of contact with mattress surfaces and medical equipment. Alleviating pressure on their fragile heads is a critical aspect of care during this time.1 The GELShield™ is uniquely designed and precisely engineered to diffuse and distribute peak pressure over the cranium.
Utilizing our proprietary, multilayered Pressure-Response System™—a combination of breakthrough technologies and safe, state-of-the-art materials—the GELShield™ increases contact area by nearly 300% and reduces peak pressure on the head by up to 85%.2 The lightweight, unobtrusive design of the GELShield™ allows clinicians to provide proper care of the infant with little added effort.
Active Noise Reduction
Studies have shown a correlation between high noise levels in the NICU and detrimental effects on infant development. Loud, unpredictable noises from alarm systems, medical equipment, and conversations of the staff contribute to noise levels that can cause harmful short- and long-term effects on infants, ranging from increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate to hearing loss.3-7
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that sound levels in hospitals not exceed 45 decibels (dB) in the daytime and 35 dB at nighttime.4 However, a typical NICU sees ranges from 50 to 90 dB with peaks of up to 120 dB. It can be difficult to eliminate or minimize some of the more common sources of noise as they are often critical to care in the NICU.3-6
Not All Sounds Are Noise
The complete deprivation of sound during infant development can also be detrimental. Healthy speech and language development requires exposure to human language, with “conversations” between the infant and parent or caregiver being especially beneficial. Early exposure to these conversations has been linked to positive cognition and language outcomes.7-10
The focus of our active noise reduction (ANR) technology is to achieve an optimal balance for helping infants secure early development milestones by reducing unwanted, harmful noise without obstructing the sounds of parental talk. Many solutions and corrective procedures currently used are expensive, difficult to implement, cause complete sound deprivation, or have more health risks than benefits.3-7 As is the case with all of our solutions, key goals of our ANR technology are to also ensure infant safety, ease of use for clinicians, and seamless implementation in the hospital setting.
- Hummel P, Fortado D. Impacting infant head shapes. Adv Neonatal Care. 2005;5(6):329-340.
- Data on file. San Antonio, TX: Invictus Medical, Inc.
- Bremmer P, Byers JF, Kiehl E. Noise and the premature infant: physiological effects and practice implications. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003;32(4):447-454.
- Committee on Environmental Health. Noise: a hazard for the fetus and newborn. Pediatrics. 1997;100(4):724-727.
- Darcy AE, Hancock LE, Ware EJ. A descriptive study of noise in the neonatal intensive care unit: ambient levels and perceptions of contributing factors. Adv Neonatal Care. 2008;8(5 suppl):S16-S26.
- Fortes-Garrido JC, Velez-Pereira AM, Gázquez M, Hidalgo-Hidalgo M, Bolivar JP. The characterization of noise levels in a neonatal intensive care unit and the implications for noise management. J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014;12:104.
- McMahon E, Wintermark P, Lahav A. Auditory brain development in premature infants: the importance of early experience. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012;1252:17-24.
- Caskey M, Stephens B, Tucker R, Vohr B. Adult talk in the NICU with preterm infants and developmental outcomes. Pediatrics. 2014;133(3):e578-e584.
- Caskey M, Stephens B, Tucker R, Vohr B. Importance of parent talk on the development of preterm infant vocalizations. Pediatrics. 2011;128(5):910-916.
- Rand K, Lahav A. Impact of the NICU environment on language deprivation in preterm infants. Acta Paediatr. 2014;103(3):243-248.