A Baby Cry Analyzer Leads to Intervention with Developmental Delays


Anyone who is a parent has no doubt lived through several experiences where his or her child was crying and the parent could not figure out what was wrong. Every parent understands cries of hunger, cries of fatigue, cries for a diaper change and cries of general discomfort, but not every cry falls into one of those categories. In fact, a team of researchers at Brown University and the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has come up with a tool that could actually help parents fully understand the reasons for the cries of babies in the future.

A description of the tool appears in an article on the Science Blog, and the full text of that description can be found here. Basically, the tool works by separating the cries of babies into 12.5-millisecond frames. Those recorded cries are then thoroughly analyzed and measured against several different variables. After the initial analysis, the cries are then further analyzed and the number of variables is reduced. In all, 80 different parameters are analyzed and results are generated.

The tool is being put to use in conjunction with research that has been happening for decades that has attempted to pinpoint different types of cries with different types of problems. For instance, babies with Down syndrome have a cry that is distinct and that many believe can be captured and recognized by those who know what to look for. Obviously, the tools used in those earlier studies were not nearly as advanced as the one that’s being discussed here, so the hope is that much more learning can be achieved.

The point of all of this additional learning is that perhaps this tool could be put to use to detect signs of developmental delays much earlier than is the norm these days. Generally, developmental delays will not be noticed or diagnosed until parents begin to recognize that a child is behind in terms of acquiring certain skills or capabilities. Tools such as this crying analyzer could help people diagnose developmental delays when the children are still infants.

This would make an enormous difference overall for children who suffer from this challenging condition. The earlier intervention begins, the earlier a child can be taught to overcome those problems and the earlier that child will be able to cope with whatever is wrong. Every day that’s spent working with a child on developmental delays is a positive one in terms of the overall progress that child can make. Therefore, this advancement is extremely promising for several reasons.

We have been representing families as New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm for 42 years. We have seen firsthand how difficult it can be for parents and other family members to deal with developmental delays that are the result of medical negligence that occurred before, during or immediately after birth. We hope that this discovery is one that leads to substantial improvement for children who are forced to deal with this problem.