06:03 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Smart App Simulates Womb Sounds for Newborn Babies

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    A new app has been developed to 'wombify' a mother's voice and heartbeat, so premature babies recovering in incubators think they're still inside a womb.

    The sound of a mother's voice is not only conforting but contributes to the healthy development of a newborn baby's brain.

    For premature babies this is crucial, as they remain in incubators for long periods of time and rarely hear the sound of their mother's voice.

    However, a new app developed by tech giant Samsung could change this.

    The Voice of Life app allows a mother to record her heartbeat and voice on a smart device. It then "wombifies" the audio removing any high frequencies and plays it back on a speaker placed inside the incubator.

    ​The developers claim the app provides a reassuring sound in a clinical setting like a neonatal care unit (NCU) and helps parents connect to a new born baby isolated in NCU soon after birth.

    "Our research suggests this technology helps the mothers to be there for their child, and helps the babies with healthy brain development," Dr Amir Lahav, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School said.

    Dr Lahav who helped develop the smart app says the environment in an incubator is very different to the womb.

    Research suggests that mothers undergo a developmental process during pregnancy that is associated with the physical movements of their baby in the womb.

    Some scientists believe that an emergency birth can lead to increased levels of anxiety and fear. Developers of the Voice of Life app hope it will help decrease those levels and provide newborn babies — and mothers with smart support.

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    Tags:
    technology, premature, health, baby, child, mother, smartphone app, Samsung
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