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World Prematurity Day 2014: new technologies can offer a better future

17 November 2014

On the occasion of the World prematurity day, researches of CareToy project are glad to announce the end of the pilot phase of the clinical trial. The CareToy project, funded by European Committee, is devoted to early intervention in preterm infants based on a biomechatronic platform: a modular smart baby gym with sensorized toys.

The first clinical and technical results were presented in Pontedera (Italy) last November 7 during an important international workshop dedicated to the new frontiers of biomechatronic techniques for the early diagnosis and intervention of the psychomotor development.
The CareToy project is now in the most crucial phase, the clinical trial. Six systems are currently working in parallel, three in Italy and three in Denmark. The CareToy approach is perfectly in line with all the initiatives related to the care of preterm infants. Using modern ICT technologies (Information Communication Technology) the CareToy Consortium developed a platform that allows to promote the brain development of the infants.
First results are very interesting and promising: 20 infants have been tested at their home during last months for the first pilot phase of the project. We are confident that once completed the randomized study (that is now on going) we could demonstrate how an enriched environment improves the prognosis of at risk infants. CareToy allows to provide stimuli in an appropriate and suitable way not only in the clinical centres but, through playing activities, it allows families to continue the stimulation of the infant at home while the clinical staff can remotely customize the most suitable activities for his development and his specific needs.

The CareToy project, coordinated by the BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa), is the product of an international collaboration between Universities and firms. It involves 6 partners from 4 European countries: IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris (Calambrone, Pisa), the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Hamburg (Germany), the "Helen Elsass" (Denmark), and the Italian companies STMicroelectronics and MR&D.

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