Sample Entropy Identifies Differences in Spontaneous Leg Movement Behavior between Infants

The authors were interested in using wearable sensor data to analyze detailed characteristics of movement, such as repeatability and variability of movement patterns, over days and months to accurately capture real-world infant behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore Sample Entropy (SampEn) from wearable sensor data as a measure of variability of spontaneous infant leg movement and as a potential marker of the development of neuromotor control. The authors hypothesized that infants at risk (AR) of developmental delay would present significantly lower SampEn values than infants with typical development (TD).

Participants were 11 infants with TD and 20 infants AR. They calculated SampEn from 1–4 periods of data of 7200 samples in length when the infants were actively playing across the day. The infants AR demonstrated smaller SampEn values (median 0.21) than the infants with TD (median 1.20). Lower values of SampEn indicate more similarity in patterns across time, and may indicate more repetitive, less exploratory behavior in infants AR compared to infants with TD.

In future studies, the authors would like to expand to analyze longer periods of wearable sensor data and/or determine how to optimally sample representative periods across days and months.