Researchers at the University of Helsinki, in Finland, have developed a smart jumpsuit that can monitor an infant's movements and determine if there is a potential neurological issue. The benefit of the suit is that it allows for data to be collected in the child's natural environment, instead of in a doctor's office, where daily activity levels may not be accurate. The group's findings were recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“The smart jumpsuit provides us with the first opportunity to quantify infants’ spontaneous and voluntary movements outside the laboratory. The child can be sent back home with the suit for the rest of the day. The next day, it will be returned to the hospital where the results will then be processed,” says Sampsa Vanhatalo, professor of clinical neurophysiology at the University of Helsinki.
From the University of Helsinki article: "Vanhatalo says that the new analysis method quantifies infant motility as reliably as a human being would be able to do by viewing a video recording. After the measurement, the infant’s actual movements and physical positions will be known to the second, after which computational measures can be applied to the data.
The data gleaned by the smart jumpsuit is valuable, since the detection of abnormalities in the neurological development of infants at an early stage enables early support. Brain plasticity is at its strongest in early childhood, and is benefited by measures supporting development, which are targeted at recurring everyday activities.
At least 5% of Finnish children suffer from problems associated with language development, attention regulation and motor development. Often, such problems overlap. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying developmental disorders are complex, but preterm birth, perinatal brain damage and the lack of early care, as well as insufficient stimulation in the growth environment aggravate the risk of developmental problems."
Read more about the smart jumpsuit that detects neurological problems in infants at the University of Helsinki.
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