Smart Baby Suit
- Radboud University/Radboudumc: Lucas Noldus (Department of Biophysics, Donders Institute), Sabine Hunnius (BabyBRAIN group, Donders Institute), Marcel van Gerven and Elsbeth van Dam (Department of Artificial Intelligence, Donders Institute)
- External Partners: Noldus Information Technology, Demcon
The first 1,000 days of life is a critical period during which the basis for optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan is established. In case of a developmental disorder, the earlier it is detected, the higher the chance that treatment is successful. In the case of autism, the earliest signs may appear as sensori-motor atypicalities and arousal dysregulation. To reliably track development in these areas, tools are needed to assess these domains with a dense longitudinal approach, because atypicalities may only emerge through analysis of long-term variability in relevant signals. These patterns may remain undiscovered during irregular visits to a consultation office, so ideally we should measure these domains outside the clinic, in a home setting. Therefore, we are developing a Smart Baby Suit that can measure relevant signals in young infants continuously.
The Smart Baby Suit is a garment with embedded sensors plus signal acquisition and data transmission electronics. The sensors capture the heartbeat, heart rate variability, respiration, body motion, and activity of the baby. An electronic gateway on the suit transmits these signals wirelessly to a nearby computer where the data is stored in a time-series database. Next, AI-based software detects relevant body postures and behavioral patterns in the multimodal data sets. Specialist software “dashboards” will be created for quick data inspection and results gathering by parets, clinicians, and behavioral scientists.
The Smart Baby Suit project is a collaboration of three Radboud University groups (Department of Biophysics, Department of Artificial Intelligence, and the Baby & Child Research Center) and two industrial partners, Demcon and Noldus Information Technology. Demcon develops the Smart Baby Suit hardware, while Noldus IT is the developer of the Smart Baby Suit application software. AI-based behavior recognition algorithms, developed by the research team, will be integrated into the application software, eventually resulting in an end-to-end solution. After successful validation, the complete solution will be handed over to the psychologists at the Baby & Child Research Center for use in their daily practice. This project strengthens the collaboration between Radboud University and two regional companies and generates new opportunities for student placement, employment, and joint projects. The industrial partners in the project have the ambition to develop the Smart Baby Suit plus associated software into a mature commercial product, which will be made available to developmental psychologists and others studying babies and infants worldwide.
This development takes place in the context of the European project AIMS-2-TRIALS (https://www.aims-2-trials.eu/).
Contact person: Prof. dr. Lucas P.J.J. Noldus (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Department of Biophysics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour - Radboud University.