Infant Algometer: In Collaboration with Children’s National Medical Center

We designed a noninvasive diagnostic device, the Infant Algometer, and a novel methodology to objectively evaluate, measure, and guide therapy for pain in infants and young children. The first version of this prototype instrument was developed through support from the Children’s National Medical Center.

The Algometer incorporates a low-noise near-infrared spectrometer to extract ultra-low-level cerebral dynamic blood oxygenation coupled to a neurostimulator for frequency and amplitude controlled stimulation of specific nerve fibers in the human body. We built the hardware for a four-channel Algometer system, and developed the complete firmware for the embedded system. The instrument communicates with a host computer through a USB 2.0 interface. Graphical user interface software was developed for the medical professionals to interact easily with the Algometer. The software enables the doctors to evaluate the patient’s response to specific stimuli and record their cerebral oximetry data in real-time. The instrument is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials at the Children’s National Medical Center.