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Projekte / Technologie
Positioning of new-borns in a supine position during the first year of life prevents sudden infant death syndrome and is therefore strongly recommended to parents worldwide. The rate of infant growth in that time can lead to severe head deformation. Reliable assessment of this deformity is only possible in specialized medical centers. Diagnostic and therapeutic approaches vary. Aim of this project is therefore to develop a mobile option for parents to judge and follow their child´s head shape.
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Finanzierungszeitraum 17.03.17 23:59 Uhr
Realisierungszeitraum 24 months
Fundingziel 71.500 €
Stadt Giessen
Kategorie Technologie

Worum geht es in dem Projekt?

The project is about programming, testing and validating a mobile Software-Application to evaluate infant head deformity, which is a frequent problem after the recommendation of international pediatric societies to bed infants exclusively in a supine position during sleep ("back-to-sleep-campaign" of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 1992).
Head deformity in early childhood can be seen in 1 out of 60 young babies and long-term functional aftermath are not yet clear. There are various ways to evaluate and judge these deformities. Diagnostic and therapeutic considerations vary. But alltogether, comprehensive studies on the topic were not implemented yet, since it is at least debatable from the ethical point of view to perform randomized studies with new-born infants.
With the project presented here, we would like to give practitioners like pediatricians, craniofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiotherapists, osteopaths, midwives and finally the parents and care-givers of children with any kind of head deformity the opportunity to assess the individual shape of their child´s head, judge it at first, get connected to a specialized center if necessary and finally to follow the course of the initial deformity during natural growth or during any kind of therapeutic intervention.
Once established, it is possible with this software App to strengthen Patient autonomy, evaluate head deformity of infants not only at specialized centers but also in the everyday domestic environment and finally to collect data and scientifically interpret the course of head deformities during therapy or during natural growth.

Was sind die Ziele und wer ist die Zielgruppe?

Aims are to strenghten patient autonomy and give parents nd practitioners the option to initially assess head deformity of a child and to follow the course of the head shape over time (either during therapy or during normal head growth).
Furthermore an important aim is to gather (anonymous) data on head shape in childhood at a specialized University Hospital center for head deformities and scientifically evaluate the data on growth, shape and functional outcome.

Warum sollte jemand dieses Projekt unterstützen?

Practitioners worldwide still dispute the diagnosis and therapy of positional head deformities in early childhood. The opinions on the matter vary, but nobody can claim the use of pure scientific data to substantiate their view. Since Clarren first described the use of a plastic helmet to correct positional plagiocephaly in four children with torticollis in the late 1970s, the topic has remained controversial.
After the positioning recommendations of the AAP in 1992 to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and the subsequent recommendations by other international pediatric societies, Turk et al. reported an increased incidence of what can be called accidental head deformation caused by unilateral bedding in 1996.
Until now, there is still no general agreement on how to classify these deformities initially or how to help small patients with significant and stigmatizing non-synostotic dyscrania.
Some authors see evidence of spontaneous normalization over the years. Others claim that physiotherapeutic, osteopathic, or bedding management can lead to a normal head shape. Some find that directing cranial growth during the first year of life with helmet therapy is the only way to normalize the misshapen head. Others believe that the amount of correction is only and directly connected to the initial degree of deformation, meaning that a severe deformity will improve better and faster than a mild one. Some authors classify the amount of head deformation subjectively, while others use anthropometric measurements, normative percentiles or three-dimensional photogrammetric evaluations. Even the question whether a positional deformity is an exclusively esthetic problem or if functional impairment can be expected remains unanswered till now.
There might be some truth in all of that. We simply do not know with final certainty. Even if very desirable, we have not yet succeeded in implementing randomized multicenter trials with comparable measurement methods and rating patterns to classify the deformities and evaluate what happens during natural growth, sufficient helmet therapy, or other therapeutic approaches.
If randomized and blinded multicenter-studies are not feasible, it is of high importance to collect data on this field. This data-collection has to be independent of medical beliefs, individual vanity, or economic or scientific interests. Craniofacial practitioners have to take care of the affected children and their parents in the first place. We want to provide an objective instrument to make at least a rough first estimation of the degree of deformation, communicate about specialized centers in the surrounding area, and give parents the chance to follow the course of the clinical picture during natural head growth or during any kind of correctional therapy. An assessment of the status quo must be possible not only during periodic presentations to craniofacial units but also in the everyday domestic environment. If we can provide this, we will strengthen patient autonomy, sensitize parents regarding the subject, and give them the option to contact the right person or center early enough to protect their child from unnecessary procedures or delayed action.

Was passiert mit dem Geld bei erfolgreicher Finanzierung?

Software-development of an Android-Version of the Software Application, initial testing and bug-fixing
37000.- Euro
Development of an iOS Version
10000.- Euro
Licensing of the Software to other university facilities to obtain a multicenter testing process / scientific Validation of the software / national and international presentations / publications
10000.- Euro
Development and Printing of Information material / Flyers for Parents / Pediatricians / midwives..etc.
5000.- Euro
Development of User-Questionaires, long-term bug-fixing, software updating
8000.- Euro
Translating into english, french, russian, arabian language
1500.- Euro per language

71500.- Euro altogether

Wer steht hinter dem Projekt?

Jan-Falco Wilbrand
Senior Surgeon
Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
University Hospital Giessen

Jan-Falco Wilbrand
Klinikstr. 33
35385 Gießen Deutschland

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