Pediatrician Survey - Research

Dear medical practitioner,
Our names are Cody Hall, Chris Heelan, and Jorge Perez, and we are currently three senior
undergraduate engineers studying at Vanderbilt University. We would like to ask you for some
information regarding plagiocephaly detection to help us determine the design requirements for our
senior design project. Please find below various questions regarding the initial measurements made by
pediatricians in order to detect plagiocephaly. Following the questions (second page) is a brief
description of our initial design idea followed by three additional feedback questions. Any information
and/or feedback that you can provide will help us make this device a reality and is greatly appreciated.
Please send your response as an attachment to [email protected]
Thank you for your time.
Cody Hall (Biomedical Engineer)
Chris Heelan (Biomedical and Electrical Engineer)
Jorge Perez (Biomedical Engineer)
Initial Questions
What are the common measurements for spotting plagiocephaly? Please describe the procedure for
taking the measurements as well (spatial markers, anatomical features, etc…).
At what infant ages are these measurements usually taken?
What measurement resolution (smallest change sensor can detect) and range (minimum and maximum
values) do you need?
What device are you currently using to make these measurements and how much does it cost?
How much would you pay for a digital automated device that made the measurements faster, more
accurate, and safer?
Initial Design Idea
Our initial approach to this device involves creating a soft hat that would be placed on the baby’s head.
By rotating and position four arms (two sets of two arms allow for two caliper-like measurements)
centered at the top of the hat, the desired measurements can be recorded and displayed on a small LCD
screen. We are currently planning on having the arms measure not only the linear distance between
them for the diagonal measurements and ratio calculation but also the angle between them for
determining the alignment of the ears relative to the midline of the head. A rough sketch of the device
can be found below.
What is your reaction to our initial design idea?
How would you change things to make the device easier to use or safer for the child?
Do you have any other feedback that could aid us in developing this device?