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Smart Sock Alerts Parents if Baby Stops Breathing

Wed, 11/28/2012 - 4:34am

Every new parent has, at one point, stood over a sleeping baby and asked the same question; how do I make sure my baby is still breathing, even when I’m not with her?

We have high tech monitors that let you see your baby’s room in night vision, we can hear the sounds our babies are making five rooms away, be alerted to a cry in the night, but how do we know if they’re breathing normally?

It took a parent to finally figure it out, and yes, there’s an app for it. A team of students at Brigham Young University has created a baby monitor that is strapped around the baby’s foot, worn like a sock, which monitors the heart rate and blood-oxygen levels.

If the baby does stop breathing or if her heart rate changes, the monitor will wirelessly send an alert to the parent’s smartphone via an app.

That way, even when you’re sleeping, you can rest assured, literally, that your baby is safe.

The Owlet Baby Monitor was created by student innovator Jacob Colvin and his team. Colvin himself is a father of two, who hopes the wireless smart sock will help to reduce the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It won’t prevent the cause of SIDS, but it can alert a parent if something has changed that they need to be aware of. “Our hope is that we can give parents time to react and see that something’s wrong before it’s too late,” says Colvin.

Colvin’s team developed their monitor for the third annual Student Innovator of the Year competition. They took home the award for first place and crowd favorite. The device isn’t ready for market yet but the $6,000 in prize money will surely help further its development and growth.

“If we can hear just one mother say that we made a difference, it would all be worth it,” Colvin said. “That makes all the difference in the world.”

Would you feel better with a device like this monitoring your baby’s breathing? Do you use a monitor now? See the video here.

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November 28, 2012

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