The Cuban Neuroscience Center (CNEURO) developed a neonatal screening system, called Infantix, to detect hearing and vision disorders in newborns.
Telecommunications Engineer Ernesto Velarde, one of the project leaders, pointed out that hearing tests are carried out in the island’s maternal hospitals with otoacoustic emission equipment, which are imported, according to the Agencia Cubana de Noticias news agency.
The specialist underlined that none of these technologies in the world has incorporated visual screening among its functions. In contrast, the device developed by CNEURO does.
Infantix: Un sistema de pesquisa hecho en Cuba y para nuestros niños https://t.co/Hz0lcFQk9j Via @Granma_Digital @BioCubaFarma
— Neurociencias Cuba (@cneuro_cuba) June 16, 2021
Registered in 2019 by the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED) to carry out auditory screenings, and visual para-analysis in 2020, the device has an accessory that has microphones and loudspeakers to emit sounds and receive their echo. This is due to the fact that this rebound provides information on the functioning of the child’s middle and inner ear that the Infantix analyzes, Velarde explained.
For the visual evoked potential test, the patient receives a visual stimulus and the system evaluates the brain’s response to that stimulation, the specialist explained.
“In this way, it is possible to measure from the retina, the optic nerve, to the part of the brain’s cortex that is responsible for visual processing,” said the engineer, who added that this type of research can detect major problems of the visual pathway such as congenital cataracts or visual nerve neuropathies.
The expert stated that the main purpose of his work is to detect as soon as possible any auditory or visual disorder; and in the specific case of hearing, the goal is for each newborn to leave the hospital with this test performed.
“If we are able to make an early diagnosis of any problem and refer to specialized care, these patients will have normal development during their life,” concluded Velarde.
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