Pattern identification requires gathering data at frequent intervals during the time of a baby's rapid development . The period of just one month can see an enormous amount of development in infants. The need to check in very frequently on what the baby is doing means that our work is most effectively done not in the clinic or lab, but in the baby's home with the help of parents and others who care for the baby. Home-based research means that parents (caregivers and, of course, babies themselves) are our partners. We obviously can do nothing without families' help (and we are very grateful for it!). It’s important for HUGS to capture highly accurate and reliable data but equally essential to make sure HUGS is easy and convent to use in the home.
The knowledge we are just beginning to acquire about the development of manual skills in infancy will translate to a range of smart toys that are routinely provided for every infant. Mom and dad monitor their fitness status on their smartphones with data streams coming in from their own wearable sensors. In the future, the youngest members of the household will have their own personal data streams popping up on mom and dad's dashboard as well. Among of these tracked wellness variables will be hand use and grasp development status.We are actively recruiting families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with babies not yet 3 months old to join in a home trial of the HUGS system. If you think you might be interested in joining us, click here for a FLYER on the study to learn more about it and contact the HUGS team to talk further!