A Baby’s Breathing and Heartbeat as Told By a Sock
The Owlet kit keeps close eyes on your baby’s vitals so you can sleep better at night
The Owlet kit brings pulse oximetry used in many hospitals to your home’s nursery through an adorable baby sock. The kit can keep track of heart rate and oxygen levels in the baby’s circulation; if the numbers fall out of the safe range, alarms will sound from both the device and your iPhone.
The device works by using a beam of light that passes through the baby’s foot. The circulation inside the foot alters the light and a sensor in the end catches all these changes. Through this method, the Owlet can measure both blood oxygen levels and pulse. The same technology is used but with stronger lights in the finger clips in hospitals.
There is no need for straps or tape to keep it on. Just secure it on the toddler’s foot like you would a normal sock and it’s secured in place. The electronics are removable for washing and three sock sizes come with each kit so the system fits until your baby turns 18-months-old.
By going wireless, Owlet takes away the risk of having a cord lying around the crib. The monitor is composed of two parts: the one that goes on the sock and the Owlet base station. Both sync together via Bluetooth Low Energy. The sock module’s internal rechargeable battery is enough to last a day and could be recharged by plugging it into the base station. The base, which also works as a nightlight, must be kept within 10 feet from the socks.
The base connects to the Wi-Fi and relays all the information to the cloud. Through the Owlet Baby Care app on an iOS device, parents can monitor the baby while in the same house or from far away via the Internet.
The Owlet kit is now available to order via their website at $249. The company has raised over $9 million last August to build their innovative product, including a $1 million for participation in the National Institute of Health (NIH) grant. The Owlet clarifies it is not a medical device and is still pursuing FDA approval with clinical trials at the Seattle Children’s Hospital.