The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, a cross-disciplinary research institute at Harvard University, has awarded its clinically validated Stochastic Vibro-tactile Stimulation (SVS) technology licence to infant sleep tech company Prapela.
As part of the deal, the technology firm will commercialise the SVS technology to develop a range of devices to improve infant health.
Wyss Institute researchers and engineers developed the SVS technology platform in collaboration with physicians and researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), Massachusetts General Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).
The technology focuses on normalising cardiorespiratory functions in infants caused by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
Researchers initially validated the technology in newborn infants suffering from apnea of prematurity.
UMMS independent research associate professor Elisabeth Bloch-Salisbury said: “Encouraged by the studies in apneic infants, we extended the SVS-based strategy as a treatment to help reduce drug withdrawal in infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which led to promising results in opioid-exposed newborns.”
Leveraging the technology, Prapela will develop SVS hospital bassinet pad and a next-generation, ‘baby box’.
Developed in Finland, the original baby box provides a safe sleeping environment for infants until they can transition to a crib.
Wyss Institute SVS technology development lead senior staff engineer James Niemi said: “Our SVS devices made it possible to deliver precise gentle stimulation to these infants, in either the home or hospital setting, in a standard infant mattress.”
The Charles H. Hood Foundation funded Prapela to begin its development efforts for the new product.