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New app helps with baby health screening

Addenbrooke’s Hospital has helped Anglia Ruskin University with the development of a new app that will help clinicians, student midwives and educators screen for health conditions at birth.

The Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) programme is a screening undertaken by UK midwives and doctors within 72 hours of the birth of every baby, and again at six weeks by GPs, to identify conditions that includes problems with the hips, heart, eyes, and testes.

Some neonatal conditions, such as congenital cataracts, can be rare and vary in appearance among different ethnic groups, and the app provides photographed examples of the how these issues can appear in all babies, minimising the chances of a problem being missed, or healthy babies being unnecessarily referred to specialists.

Lindsey Rose - Anglia Ruskin University head and shoulders
Lindsey Rose

The app has been launched by Anglia Ruskin University midwifery lecturer Lindsey Rose and was originally developed as a tool to support the training of student midwives at ARU. Now it is now available as an important resource for qualified practitioners worldwide to revise and update their skills.

Louise Allen 600 x 625 head and shoulders
Louise Allen

The photographs used were taken at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie using Catcam, the prototype of Neocam and developed by CUH eye surgeon Louise Allen to check for cataracts and the eye cancer retinoblastoma.

It is an alternative to the traditional ophthalmoscope – a torch-like device with a bright light that can be hard to use with babies and small children, meaning symptoms are sometimes missed.

Funded by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Neocam is currently the subject of a large national study, and could transform the management of the conditions world-wide.

Louise said:

We were delighted to assist with the development of the app by providing a wide variety of high quality pictures taken during examinations of babies and children at the Rosie and Addenbrooke’s hospitals. They are excellent reference material.

Louise Allen

Lindsey added

This app has been designed to ensure student midwives and healthcare practitioners are armed with all the information they need to be able to competently carry out the NIPE examination, including gaining knowledge about conditions they may not have come across while in clinical placements.

Lindsey Rose

  • Listing picture – Baby Blue Eyes by Vicky Dixon.