The aim of the proposed product is to detect the feeding maturity of preterm babies in an objective manner, by analyzing the swallowing patterns acquired using sensors placed around their hyoid regions. It is also intended to monitor the improvements by regular measurements and analysis of feeding maturity in the preterm infants and compare past evaluations. The product is expected to be proper for point of care usage, marketable globally. Moreover, this non-invasive design will be painless for infants and user friendly for the medical staff. Currently, in practice, doctors utilize observational, trial-and-error techniques or nursing assessment for identification of feeding skills in preterm infants which are mostly subjective. Efforts aimed at more objective assessment techniques have focused on invasive, pressure measurement methods that can be particularly painful for infants. However, such methods are not well suited for regular and real-time monitoring of feeding maturity, thus are not preferred in practice. If successfully completed, the proposed business idea, which aims to detect the feeding maturity by tracking swallowing function merely with sensors placed around infants’ hyoid regions, will meet a highly important need, particularly in the neonatal medicine. At the end of Phase-1, an intensive feasibility study, including market and profitability analyses, and a work plan for Phase-2, which will lead us to the final product on the shelf will be produced. Furthermore in Phase-1, in addition to the feedbacks from the medical staff experimenting with the device, possible improvements required for the prototype will be determined by surveying the point of care medical devices used in the newborn units of the hospitals. Moreover, collaboration opportunities in European countries will be investigated which will be instrumental for forming a consortium in the Phase-2 project. Furthermore, in Phase-1 certification costs and duration will be estimated.
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