As part of the NC TRaCS Institute Improving Human Health Award (PI Tully), CGBI is actively engaged with North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) College of Design to develop infant bassinet prototypes for testing at UNC Hospitals later this year. Graduate design students in Dr. Sharon Joines’s studio course hosted Drs. Tully, Seashore, Stuebe, and Catherine Sullivan in early January to learn about the aims of the project as well as the current research on nighttime on postnatal units and the impact of sleep spaces on the maternal-infant relationship. The NCSU students then toured NC Women’s Hospital with the UNC team and clinical staff so that the designers could observe the hospital beds and bassinets in context.
In February, students presented in teams on their design concepts. The presentations were highly innovative and interactive. The presentations were supported by literature review, described limitations of current hospital bassinet models in Europe, and provided analysis of a the bassinet component of CGBI’s survey (discussed in the last issue of BFE). The research team from UNC and a partner from Trig Innovations provided the students with feedback on their work. A hospital bed and bassinet recently delivered to the NCSU design studio will enhance the ability to explore mechanisms so that students may further develop their prototypes. In April, students will present their final designs. NCSU has one of the premiere design programs in the Country; the work of these students has the potential to change the maternity landscape in the United States. We are ecstatic to be collaborating with Dr. Joines and her team on these studio prototypes and then further this work with Trig Innovations to create medical grade prototypes.