‘Smart Diapers’ contain a multi-colored square patch that changes colors when wet to detect possible urinary problems.
Quantified living and wearable technology seems to be dominated by the adult market – where people actually care enough to quantify their life, but New York startup Pixie Scientific has created a piece of wearable tech that, unlike Google Glass, would be more accessible and used by millions …of babies that is. The startup has developed Smart Diapers, a digital disposable diaper that analyzes a baby’s urine to check for health conditions.
Founder Yaroslav Faybishenko explained to the New York Times how Smart Diapers came about:
I was driving with my wife and daughter one day, when my wife asked if the baby had wet herself. I realized she was sitting in data.
That data is the different proteins that urine contains which provides valuable information about a baby’s health. The smart diaper has a small patch on the front which contain reagents that have different chemical reactions with urine, interacting with the protein in the sample. Should the levels be abnormal, the color on the patches will change. At the end of each diaper use, a parent uses his or her smartphone to take a picture of the QR-like patch. The accompanying app then analyzes the patches to determine whether the baby has a UTI, if the kidneys are healthy, whether s/he is dehydrated, it can even detect Type 1 diabetes. The app will recommend whether the child needs to be taken in to see a physician.
Smart Diapers are not currently on the market, but still in the testing stage. The company has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund their first study and help complete the Food and Drug Administration registration process. Should the requisite funding be achieved, Faybishenko says the diapers will be tested at Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco this fall. If testing is successful, the product would then be submitted to the FDA for final approval.
Watch the video below to see an introduction to Smart Diapers: