Florida State / Office of Research / PAL
About the PAL® :
More than 500,000 premature babies are born in the United States every year, each requiring significant medical treatment to ensure their survival and minimize life-long health challenges. The Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL®) device was created to help address one of the greatest difficulties many of these babies experience - learning the proper muscle movements to be able to suck and feed.
The brainchild of Professor Jayne Standley, the PAL® device uses a specially wired pacifier and speaker system to play a soft lullaby each time a baby completes a successful sucking motion.
The early outcomes of the PAL® device have been significant, producing shorter-term hospital stays that result in reduced costs and higher likelihoods that premature babies will thrive once they leave the hospital. After years of prototype development and testing, these devices are now available for purchase by hospital neo-natal units throughout the nation and world.
As premature birth rates continue to rise (up 36 percent since the 1980s), the PAL® stands as a shining example of how the power of music is being harnessed to help these babies overcome their developmental challenges.
What PAL® Does:
Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL®) is an FDA-approved, patented system that utilizes music reinforcement therapy to stimulate non-nutritive sucking and the breathe-suck-swallow reflex in pre-term infants.
Why non-nutritive sucking is important:
Non-nutritive sucking is an essential life skill that helps newborn infants feed, breathe, comfort themselves, and grow, both physically and developmentally.
How PAL® Technology Works:
Proprietary sensing, control and feedback algorithms are integrated into a discrete device that can be calibrated to each baby's needs. The PAL® is wired to deliver a specifically timed lullaby each time the infant correctly sucks, meeting the preset pressure criteria.
Preemies who use PAL® Experience:
- Earlier transition to oral feeding
- More rapid weight gain
- Reductions in hospital length of stay
- Improved behavioral state control
- Decreased stress
- Enhanced maturation of neural systems
How PAL® Saves Money:
With the use of PAL® the number of days a preterm infant will stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is reduced by an average of five days, saving an average of $10,000 per infant.
Features of PAL® System:
- LCD graphic display
- External memory via USB and SD ports
- Amplifier with two audio (binaural) outputs
- Pacifier sensor module with piezo sensor technology and one-wire bus connection
- Ergonomic, user-friendly design; lightweight yet robust
- Conforms to UL, EMC, IEC standards
- Sealed enclosure utilizes surface transducer speaker technology enabling greater infection control