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Catching a breath -- wirelessly

reathing monitor, and, if it proves useful, develop it as a medical device that would need federal approval. He also says it may be useful for adults with sleep apnea, which causes daytime fatigue and impairs a person's performance.

SIDS monitors now on the market include FDA-approved medical devices that measure heart rate and respiration and are connected to babies with wires, electrodes and-or belts. Other monitors, which are non-medical and over-the-counter versions, detect a lack of sound, or use mattress sensors to detect a lack of movement.

Patwari says that with the new method, "the patient or the baby doesn't have to be connected to tubes or wired to other sensors, so they can be more comfortable while sleeping. If you're wired up, you're going to have more trouble sleeping, which is going to make your recovery in the hospital worse."

Some opposition to SIDS monitors is based on a fear that parents will depend on monitors instead of following other, more effective medical measures, including always placing babies on their backs to sleep, keeping redundant bedding and soft objects out of the crib, and not having babies share a bed with adults.

Yet many parents want monitors too. The AAP acknowledges "distribution of home monitors continues to be a substantial industry in the United States."

New Uses for Wireless Technology

Wireless technology has become pervasive, from wireless phones to wireless networks linking home computers. In 2009, Patwari and then-graduate student Joey Wilson showed how a couple dozen wireless transceivers devices that transmit and receive radio signals could be used to literally see through walls to detect the location of a burglar, people trapped by a fire or hostages held captive inside a building.

They formed a University of Utah spinoff company, Xandem Technology LLC, which is commercializing the wireless networks for use as motion detectors for burglar a

Contact: Lee Siegel
University of Utah

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