SOURCE: NFANT Labs LLC

NFANT Labs LLC

April 06, 2016 08:09 ET

Use of the nfant® Feeding Solution for Real-Time Monitoring of Feeding Progress Explored in Clinical Paper

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Apr 6, 2016) - NFANT Labs LLC announced today that a clinical paper outlining the use of the nfant® Feeding Solution will be presented at the upcoming National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) conference. The paper, "Objective assessment of preterm infant's nutritive sucking from initiation of feeding through hospitalization and discharge," was recently published in neonatal INTENSIVE CARE.

Infant feeding complications, which present in up to 70% of neonates, are one of the leading causes of delay in discharge from the Neonatal ICU and a significant driver of Neonatal ICU costs. Clinicians find that helping infants develop their feeding skills can be a challenging task since the transition to independent oral feeding is often delayed. The paper presents a case study of an infant having trouble transitioning to independent oral feeding. Additionally, it highlights the impact of real-time feedback about clinical intervention on sucking performance and skill development from hospital discharge through outpatient follow-up.

Demonstrated in the study is nfant Feeding Solution's ability to monitor sucking skills in real time during feeding and the emergence of feeding patterns over the course of an infant's hospital stay. The authors theorize that the nfant Feeding Solution will improve the current standard of care for initiation and progression of oral feeding as it goes beyond a subjective "trial and error" approach.

The paper argues that objective information provided by the nfant Feeding Solution may help clinicians navigate infants to faster independent oral feeds by providing immediate information to optimize feedings and improve the continuity of care across caregivers. Consistent care results in safer and earlier hospital discharge and better long-term developmental outcomes.

Until now, instruments that objectively measure an infant's ability to feed have been used exclusively by researchers and have not been commercially available to healthcare professionals. However, even with research tools, feeding measures have been limited to a specific point in time during a feeding and are analyzed offline after the feeding has been completed.

"It is well known that the feeding experience of premature and fragile infants varies moment to moment," said Dr. Gilson Capilouto, Co-Founder of NFANT Labs and lead author of the paper. "This paper highlights how quickly sucking performance can shift within a feeding and result in the need for specific interventions to address those changes. Immediate feedback and long-term progression tracking will provide information for clinicians to act on immediately at bedside and to iteratively improve feedings throughout an infant's hospital stay."

The case study is part of a larger trial currently underway at Kentucky Children's Hospital. The larger study is designed to establish benchmarks of feeding performance from initiation of feeding through discharge and to identify early sucking behaviors that suggest an infant is at risk for ongoing feeding issues. Other trials underway using the nfant Feeding Solution include modeling sucking parameters pre- and post-surgery in infants with ankyloglossia, modeling sucking behavior in infants with congenital heart disease, and investigating early sucking behaviors as a predictor of later neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants and infants at risk for autism.

About NFANT Labs
Founded in 2013, Atlanta-based NFANT Labs is an emerging medical device company focused on improving the outcomes and lives of neonatal infants through internet-connected medical devices. Its product, nfant® Feeding Solution, is the first FDA-cleared "Internet of Things" (IoT) medical device for the NICU. Improving the standard of feeding care by collecting objective data and tracking feeding progression has the potential to shorten NICU stays, reduce readmissions and deliver substantial savings. For more information about NFANT Labs, please visit www.nfant.com.