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Project Summary

Stroke and other neurological conditions affect the population of infants in percentages that cannot be considered marginal. Preterm infants are the highest infants at risk for neurological damage. Currently, infants have rehabilitation sessions few times a week in rehabilitation centres but according to basic neuroscience it would be necessary to provide them with an early, intensive and multiaxial intervention. One option to reduce the cost of the entire European Healthcare System while increasing the practice of rehabilitation is to devise therapies and technologies that can be administered at home by caregivers and telemonitored by rehabilitation staff. The aim of this proposal is to promote early intervention in the first year of life and to reinforce therapy by “CareToy”: a portable low cost smart system telemonitored thus augmenting the clinical effectiveness of the therapy while reducing the cost.

The smart system is based on a common baby gym, composed of different modules:

  1. an instrumented baby gym with mechatronic hanging toys, so that the infants’ actions on the gym can be measured and stimulated,
  2. a vision module, for measuring and promoting infants’ attention and gaze movements and
  3. a sensorized mat for measuring and promoting postural control.

Each module will also incorporate built-in signal processor, memory and wireless communication. A fourth telerehabilitation module completes the system that allows the system to remotely communicate with the rehabilitation staff for monitoring and assessing the rehabilitation techniques. CareToy and the effectiveness of home rehabilitation based on this system will be validated by clinical trials on 100 preterm infants with different brain lesions.

The result of this project could have a large impact. CareToy may become a commercial product, manufactured on a large scale and distributed not only in rehabilitation centres but also at homes, sold or rented by the Health Care System to families as a therapeutic tool for care intensity.

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Join THE CARETOY program! Register to the program and be part of the research!!!

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