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Samsung app helps premature babies hear their mothers

Voice of Life gives preemies the reassuring sounds of the womb.
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Christian Wheatley via Getty Images

For babies, the sound of their mother's voice isn't just comforting -- it can be the key to healthy brain development. That's not easy to manage for premature babies stuck in incubators, though, and Samsung thinks smartphones might help out. Its Voice of Life app lets a mom record her heartbeat and voice on her phone, and "wombifies" that audio (that is, remove the high frequencies) for playback on a speaker at the baby's side. It not only provides a reassuring sound in the middle of a neonatal care unit, but helps parents connect to a child that they may rarely see in those crucial first weeks or months after birth.

Samsung hasn't said much about how close Voice of Life is to completion, or which hospitals might be lined up to use it. We've asked the company to provide details and will let you know what it has to share. If it takes off, though, it could show that you don't need elaborate equipment to give preemies a better start to their lives.

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