Project Description

Newborn Cry-Based Diagnosis System

The acoustic characteristics of infant cries reflect central nervous system integrity. The potential for their use in the early diagnosis of various pathologies in newborns remains largely undeveloped. Our aim is therefore to analyze the cries of newborns and to develop a system of early diagnosis for the identification of selected pathological conditions. In order to develop this system, we identify and quantize the acoustic characteristics that appear the most apt for betraying the pathological conditions.

This minimal-cost system uses advanced signal-processing techniques in order to alert paediatricians to the possible presence of conditions needing attention in the absence of clinical signs. The proposed system is usable for both preterm and full-term newborns.

The system developed focuses on two aspects of interest: 1) pathologies that can be identified using standard techniques, and 2) pathologies that are not detectable without in-depth examination and specialized tests.

The principal aim of the project is to broaden the diagnostic system to include other serious pathological conditions that afflict newborns. Early diagnosis before the onset of clinical symptoms will increase the likelihood of successful intervention before the illness has serious impact on the health of the infant.

In this project, a careful attention is given to both preterm and full-term newborns. The preterm infants pose significant risks related to functional immaturity of the organs. They also have a vulnerability to infections and increased risk of brain damage when babies suffer from important jaundice. Hence the need for early diagnosis of various diseases that can affect this category of infants.


The project is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Barrington, MD, Neonatology, Ste-Justine Hospital.


Prerequisites: Good level in signal/speech processing and machine learning, as well as Matlab and C/C++ and/or Java programming.


Supervisor: Pr. Chakib Tadj, Chakib Tadj

Location: École de technologie supérieure, Université du Québec (http://www.etsmtl.ca), Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Starting date: ASAP.

Duration: 12/24 months

Salary: to be discussed.

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