Thousands of babies die from SIDS every year. The cause of SIDS is unknown. It’s a horrific fear for a parent of a new born child. As a mother I would give my right arm for any technology that would help aid parents in preventing such a plague. Two students from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) are working on a computer system, that could keep more babies from becoming SIDS statistics.
The new system called “BabyBeat”. It uses computer algorithms to convert video footage to pulses that represent a baby’s heartbeat and skin tone. In the event that the system detects an abnormal heartbeat, an alarm sounds to awaken the baby, change its breathing pattern and alert the parents.
Tomer Apel and Anava Finesilver developed the program as part of their final research project. While still early in the development process, the software program will work with a basic video camera and home computer, which minimizes cost.
“Heart pulse affects the skin tone,” Tomer Apel explains. “This is such a minor change that it’s not visible to the human eye, but it’s still there. We have developed algorithms to interpret the discoloration recorded by the camera and translate them into pulses. It’s widely assumed that baby’s pulses slow down before SIDS, and this system could help prevent this.” (http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/SIDS_bgu.aspx)