New product helps parents monitor child’s vital signs

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SALT LAKE CITY – A new baby monitor may allow parents to monitor their children’s vital signs on a cellphone, and the inventors of the device said their goal is to prevent incidents of sudden infant death syndrome.

The new product is called the Owlet Baby Monitor, and it’s a device that straps to the baby’s foot and gives accurate readings about the child’s heart rate and oxygen levels—which users can monitor in real-time using a smart phone app.

Erica Morgan is a new mother who participated in a test study of the product.

“I had a friend that her 4-month-old passed away of SIDS,” she said. “Since we found out that I was pregnant, that has been at the back of my mind.”

Morgan said the product offers peace of mind.

“We've had two people babysit since he's been born, and both times I'm like, what if he's sleeping and they don't know to not put him on his stomach, and it will give me more of a piece of mind, especially when he's napping during the day or at night that when we are away that he's doing fine,” she said.

Zach Bomsta is the chief technology officer for Owlet Baby Care, and he said their device is the only monitor that watches vital signs instead of symptoms.

“Sometimes those sensors that are monitoring those symptoms can be tricked, whereas if you are monitoring the vital signs you are getting right to the heart of the issue,” he said.

The device that attaches to the child’s foot is the same device a hospital would use, just on a smaller scale. Bomsta said they are fine tuning the product in preparation of a fall launch.

“We've done quite a bit of preliminary field testing, but nothing with the final product,” he said. “We have to spend some time getting to the bottom of what parents are going to find.”