Graduates of CNM: Jessica Rodriquez

Jessica used the training she got in the Internet of Things Bootcamp to build a smart device that can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
January 25, 2022

Despite years of research, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) remains the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age. It’s a heartbreaking statistic that Jessica Rodriquez wanted to do something about so she used her time in CNM’s Internet of Things (IoT) bootcamp to create a device that can detect the syndrome's symptoms before it’s too late. 

Jessica says she has always been interested in healthcare, but after working for a year as an EMT, she made the decision to switch gears and pursue a career in technology. Now her focus is on developing technologies like her SIDs device that have medical applications.  

“Especially now in the age of COVID, healthcare workers are burnt out. So, if there’s a technologically advanced way to help them monitor and take care of their patients, that’s what I want to do,” Jessica says.

Jessica got the idea for the SIDS device from her mother who also works in the healthcare field as a nurse.

The device is a crib outfitted with sensors that detect reduced breathing and blood oxygen levels, both of which are warning signs of SIDs. If reduced breathing is detected, the crib will begin to vibrate or gently rock and stimulate the child. If after several seconds there is still no increase in breathing, the sensors trigger an alarm and send an alert to the cell phones of the infants’ parents or guardians.

Jessica's crib prototype outfitted with sensors.

For Jessica, programming the sensors and putting together the crib was one of her favorite parts of her project.

“It felt like everything I had learned in the bootcamp all started coming together,” she says.

One component of the device that Jessica is especially proud of is the band that fits around the baby's chest to monitor its rise and fall.

“I used conductive thread and I crocheted that together with regular thread, and that’s what detects the chest when the baby is breathing,” Jessica says.

After graduating from the IoT bootcamp this past December Jessica was offered a paid internship at local healthcare startup, PainScan System Inc. The company’s focus is on developing new technology capable of mapping out a patient’s pain and transferring that data to a 3-D model.

“It’s very exciting. I feel like I’m getting to be on the ground floor of something potentially very big,” Jessica says.

As part of her new role, Jessica is responsible for interviewing prospective patients and explaining to them how PainScan works, which is something she credits the IoT bootcamp with helping prepare her for.

“In the bootcamp you learn about technology but then you also learn how to present your technology to people,” she says.

Jessica says she hopes others are inspired by her journey to never give up on their passions. 

“As someone who has changed careers and as a Latina woman, I want other people who are like me to know that they can do this,” she says. “There’s no barrier to what you can learn if you dedicate yourself to what you’re doing.”

Learn more about the IoT Bootcamp here