PREMATURE babies are to get a touch of help in their early development thanks to a device created by a Perthshire firm.
The NeoTouch product, designed to help babies develop their grip and sense of touch, is the brainchild of Dr Elvidina Adamson-Macedo, who has been researching the needs of premature babies for 27 years.
Adamson-Macedo’s work has shown that babies born early benefit from gentle stroking immediately after birth, as it encourages their physical development, reducing the time they spend in hospital.
She said: “A lot of people up until then had been scared to touch premature babies, fearing they were too fragile and that touch would increase infection, but my work showed that this hindered their development.
“As the years went on, I wanted to come up with a toy or tool that could be placed in the baby’s hand from birth, even in the incubator, that would allow them to experience touch.”
While the device is aimed at helping babies to learn about the world around them using touch, it could also be used as a rehabilitation aid for older children or adults.
Adamson-Macedo has set up Glendevon-based firm DidiCareS to bring a range of learning and development products to the market.
The infant expert, who is from Brazil and has received advice from Business Gateway in getting her invention off the ground, is talking to Scottish manufacturers and hopes the final product will be ready by the summer.