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.