Almost 1 in 10 babies are born premature, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Because premature babies often do not have fully developed organs, many difficulties can arise, including breathing problems, feeding difficulties, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, vision problems, and hearing problems. In order to protect them, the babies are often placed in neonatal incubators until their organs and systems have developed.
When they are isolated in incubators, however, the babies are not able to feel their mother’s touch or hear her voice. They also are cut off from the sound of their mothers’ heartbeat for the first time. According to Samsung, the isolation from their mother after prematurely leaving the womb can increase the babies’ chances of reading and attention deficits. Samsung has recently released information, so far in video format only, about a new application for moms of premature babies called Voices of Life.
The app runs on a smartphone and with it the mother can talk, read or tell stories, and sing. Samsung claims the sounds of the mother’s voice — plus a recording of the mother’s heartbeat captured while she speaks into the smartphone — can help babies’ brains grow and develop. The sounds captured by the app are “wombified,” filtering high frequencies so the sound that plays back in the incubator more closely resembles that heard in the womb. This concept is supported and further explained by the Dana Foundation.
With no specific data on when Samsung will release Voices of Life, we can only hope it’s soon, for the sake of premature babies and for the comfort of their moms.