The United Arab Emirates is financing a facial recognition project for newborn babies presenting with Down syndrome. This project is being carried out by the Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation in Washington (United States), whose president is Sheikh Zayed. The recognition system could take the form of a Smartphone app, which would be able to aid the diagnosis of Down syndrome via an immediate image.
This software can detect an anomaly earlier in pregnancy, explained Sheikh Zayed. According to Dr. Cleary, genetic testing is not widespread at the present time due to high costs and general inaccessibility. Where available, the chromosome study based on a blood sample is still performed in women likely to be carrying a child with anomalies. On the other hand, the new software would facilitate a sophisticated expert evaluation by making it broadly accessible and feasible, according to Dr. Marshall Summar, Head of the Genetics Department at the Children’s National Medical Centre.
According to Dr. Marshall Summar, this software would be 96% reliable.