Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Lily Laiho


Infant apnea is a widespread condition in which infants fail to effectively breathe, and can lead to death. Clinical solutions exist for continuous monitoring of respirations in a hospital setting and requiring constant skin contact. This thesis investigates the construction of a proof of concept device that performs in-home monitoring without skin contact and with commonly available off-the-shelf components.

The device constructed used a directional microphone to detect breathing sounds, an omnidirectional microphone to detect ambient noise as a baseline to help isolate the breathing sounds, and LabVIEW software deployed on an inexpensive laptop computer to quantify incidents of apparent lapses in breathing meeting the clinical definition of apnea. Testing results indicate that these components are effective in capturing these events in pre-term infants as well as adults, which provides promising evidence that a low-cost system could be manufactured for home detection to assist in infant monitoring.