AI tool helps clinicians, parents distinguish between infants' cries

Andrea Park - Print  | 

Natural language processing can analyze babies' "cry signals" to distinguish their meanings in home and healthcare settings, according to a study published in the latest issue of the IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

Researchers from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb used automatic speech recognition technology to develop an algorithm that detects patterns and specific features in infants' cries to determine their meanings. The algorithm can single out a specific cry sound in a noisy environment and does not require individual training for the cries of each baby, making it ideal for use in hospital nurseries and neonatal wards.

"Like a special language, there is lots of health-related information in various cry sounds. The differences between sound signals actually carry the information," study author Lichuan Liu, PhD, director of NIU's Digital Signal Processing Laboratory, said. "We are looking into collaborations with hospitals and medical research centers to obtain more data and requirement scenario input, and hopefully we could have some products for clinical practice."

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