Quantification of Motion and Cry Characteristics of NAS Newborns
Austin, Dexter Cyril
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Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a condition caused by in-utero exposure to opioids, and its occurrence is increasing nationwide. NAS patients are newborns who can experience withdrawal symptoms including tremors, poor feeding, and respiratory distress. Presently, the Finnegan Scoring System, a subjective rating scale, is commonly used to judge the patient's condition and determine appropriate treatment methods. This project sought to develop a sensor system that is capable of objectively assessing symptoms of withdrawal, including tremors and high pitched cry. The system developed is composed of five wireless accelerometers, for attachment to a subject's limbs and chest, and an external microphone. The sensor system is targeted toward quantifying limb movements of the subject and recording audio information that includes samples of the subject's cry. The sensor system was used as part of a research study, and data was collected from recruited participants. A total of 29 out of 30 desired participants were enrolled and studied as part of the data collection process. Gathered data was analyzed using MATLAB, with motion data being searched for tremor activity in NAS participants, and cry samples searched for unique characteristics. Results generated indicate that detection of tremors was successful, and that the average fundamental frequency of cry differs between the NAS and non-NAS participants. Future considerations for this project include expanding to measure more symptoms, and system refinement to minimize the number of sensors.
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