Delivering and caring for a premature baby is one of the scariest things a family can go through. When a baby is born early, a whole host of challenges and hardships ensue. For parents, the physical distance from their medically fragile baby – who is often quarantined in an incubator – is agonizing.
Team BabyBe, a top 10 finalist in the Intel Make it Wearable challenge, has come up with a solution.
“When babies are in contact with their mothers, they get better sooner,” said Camilo Anabalόn Alamos, CEO and co-founder of BabyBe. He and his team created a sensor system that pulls real-time information from a mother’s chest – her breathing and heartbeat, for example, and sends it wirelessly to the baby.
The information can be recorded and can be retransmitted to the baby through a pneumatic pump embedded in the baby’s mattress, even when the parent isn’t there.
Sebastian Estobar Alvarado, a midwife and team member described a baby’s reaction when he experienced his mother’s breathing: “It improved his blood pressure. His heart rate decreased and [he] became more calm.”
Anabalόn Alamos said the potential is huge, not only for the baby’s health and parent’s emotional well-being, but for cost saving too, given the high cost of a baby’s stay in a NICU incubator.
Editor’s Note: Make it Wearable is a global initiative introduced by Intel at CES 2014 to inspire new concepts, fuel innovation and evolve personal computing in exciting new ways. This series profiles the top 10 finalists competing for the grand prize of $500,000. Winners will be announced November 3 in San Francisco.