Background Detecting neonatal heart rate rapidly and accurately at birth is essential if resuscitation is required. The Neo-Sense prototype provides a quick, non-invasive method to measure neonatal heart rate at birth based on electric potential sensing technology. The study aimed to inform the prototype design process by exploring the required features and usability of this novel device among healthcare professionals.
Methods Face-to-face, semistructured interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals involved in the immediate care of babies at birth: paediatricians, midwives and neonatal nurses. Interviews were audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed verbatim. Two independent researchers coded and extracted the emerging categories and performed a thematic content analysis.
Results In total, 21 participants were interviewed, 7 from each professional group. Participants expressed a positive attitude towards the novel prototype. The three main themes extracted were anticipated limitations, advantages and suggestions for development and usage. Participants preferred a device that is easy to use and attach, one which is positioned in a mattress or pad, maintaining also the option of being mobile. Education was considered to have a key role in addressing staff anxiety. The ideal features most frequently mentioned were speed of assessment, reliability and accuracy.
Conclusions The study enabled a better understanding of the perceived barriers and facilitators to developing a new heart rate monitoring device. The development of a quick and accurate device would have immense implications for clinical practice and the potential to improve neonatal mortality and morbidity.
- heart rate
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