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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015;2015:7386-9. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7320098.

An automated system for quantitative analysis of newborns' oral-motor behavior and coordination during bottle feeding.


In this work a novel unobtrusive technology-aided system is presented and tested for the assessment of newborns' oral-motor behavior and coordination during bottle feeding. A low-cost monitoring device was designed and developed in order to record Suction (S) and Expression (E) pressures from a typical feeding bottle. A software system was developed to automatically treat the data and analyze them. A set of measures of motor control and coordination has been implemented for the specific application to the analysis of sucking behavior. Experimental data were collected with the developed system on two groups of newborns (Healthy vs. Low Birth Weight) in a clinical setting. We identified the most sensitive S features to group differences, and analyzed their correlation with S/E coordination measures. Then, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to explore the system suitability to automatically identify peculiar oral behaviors. Results suggest the suitability of the proposed system to perform an objective technology-aided assessment of the newborn's oral-motor behavior and coordination during the first days of life.

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