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A smartphone app that helps screen for cerebral palsy

A team of researchers in Australia have developed a simple smartphone app called Baby Moves, that parents themselves can use to video their babies and allow experts to identify potential signs of cerebral palsy.

Early medical support, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy, can improve the lives of children with cerebral palsy.

The average diagnosis happens at 19 months which is too late.

Baby Moves has been tested across 250 premature babies, which is a particular high-risk group for cerebral palsy. Some 40% of babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy are premature.

The app works by providing guidelines to parents on how they can video their baby. The app sends a reminder for parents to send in their video when the baby is three months.

Cerebral palsy is generally diagnosed by observing abnormal or absent spontaneous movement in babies aged up to 20 weeks. But this is usually only carried out in hospital. The idea of the app is to make it easier for parents to screen their own child for cerebral palsy by taking a video to be assessed by an expert.

If any sign of a disorder is detected, the doctor can ask parents to bring in their child for a formal assessment.

The Baby Moves app is already attracting attention nationally and internationally.

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