Healthy babies don’t need ‘smart clothing’ to monitor vital signs

Healthy babies don’t need ‘smart clothing’ to monitor vital signs

A team of pediatricians has recommended that parents should think twice before purchasing so-called “smart clothing” with vital signs monitors to keep tabs on the health of their babies.

The smart clothing like sensor-equipped socks, onesies, leg bands and diapers clips are being marketed as efficient tools to help parents keep an eye on things like their infants’ breathing, pulse rate and blood oxygen levels, when they are in distress.

Dr. Christopher Bonafide, a pediatrics researcher at University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said there is no evidence that monitors like the ones paired with smartphone apps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

He added that repeated false alarms from the monitors paired with smartphone apps rattle parents’ nerves, leading to needless tests performed on infants.

Speaking on the topic, Bonafide said, “I worry about the unnecessary care and even potential harm to babies that can be associated with alarms from these devices. There’s not a role for these devices in the care of healthy infants.”

The long list of smartphone-integrated monitors available in the United States or expected to be launched soon includes MonBaby, Owlet, Baby Vida, Snuza Pico and Sproutling.

The pediatricians reported their findings in an editorial column published in the Jan. 24th edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).


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