Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-304291
  • Original article

A novel technique for infant length measurement based on stereoscopic vision

  1. Paul Merlob1,2
  1. 1The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tikva, Israel
  2. 2The Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  3. 3The Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tikva, Israel
  4. 4The School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nir Sokolover, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, 14 Kaplan Street, Petah Tiqva 49202, Israel; nirsokolover{at}
  • Received 23 April 2013
  • Accepted 22 January 2014
  • Published Online First 17 February 2014


Background Monitoring infant growth is essential for evaluation of development and is an important indicator of health and illness. Length is an essential indicator of infant growth, however, length measurement methods suffer from limitations which restrict their use.

Objective To improve infant length measurement by development of a novel, accurate, precise and practical measurement technique.

Methods A new system based on stereoscopic vision was developed. The system is comprised of two digital still cameras combined with software that calculates the infant's length from two simultaneously taken pictures. Length measurements of 54 healthy newborns were performed using a standard length board and the stereoscopic system. The two measurement methods were compared.

Results Mean infant length was 473.1 (SD=29.1) mm versus 473.3 (SD=29.3) mm by length board and by the stereoscopic system, respectively. The mean difference between measurements was 0.2 (SD=2.5) mm and the mean of the absolute values of differences was 2.0 (SD=1.4) mm. Bland–Altman analysis showed good agreement between the two measurement methods. Precision of the new technique was demonstrated by a technical error of measurement of 2.57 mm.

Conclusions The stereoscopic system is accurate, reliable, easy to use, and involves less handling and discomfort to the newborns. It has the potential to measure premature infants or sick neonates through incubators.

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