Smart diapers alert parents, detect disease

By: Aditi Pai | Jul 9, 2013        

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SmartDiaperAs the market for quantified self continues to grow with wearables like smart watches and apps that track diet and exercise, new mobile health technologies are cropping up with embedded sensors that track a baby’s health condition.

New York-based Pixie Scientific developed urine-tracking Smart Diapers. The diapers have a code on the bottom that will change colors after the baby pees. From there, parents need to scan the diaper with a companion app to log the information. While Smart Diapers tests for urinary tract infection, prolonged dehydration and developing kidney problems, it will also look for health patterns that will be visible after a few months of tracking. The website emphasizes that the product “is not to create another quantified self gadget, but to create a product that is unobtrusive in your daily life and only speaks up when there is reason to see a pediatrician or a specialist.”

Pixie Scientific just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in order to begin manufacturing its product, conducting its first performance study and securing the FDA registration process. The study is set to take place at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital and will study the performance of Smart Diapers for monitoring children in pediatric intensive care.

According to a New York Times blog, founder Yaroslav Faybishenko said the diapers will cost 30 percent more than regular diapers.

This isn’t the only smart diaper to make headlines this year. In May, Huggies in Brazil announced TweetPee, the diaper will send tweets from a clip-on monitor to the companion app when it senses humidity so that parents will know when to change their baby’s diaper. The app also helps reminds parents when to buy more diapers. The product is currently just being tested and is expected to launch sometime this month. At the same time of the launch, Huggies will highlight the experiences of 10 moms and dads who use the app.

A few days ago, Immediate Media Company released a baby weaning app from parenting website MadeForMums in association with Heinz Baby.  The app features a week-by-week nutrition guide paired with recipes filtered by the age of the child. When a parent chooses a recipe, the information is sent to a shopping list for the parent’s convenience.