New digital diaper monitors babies` health

Last Updated: Jul 11, 2013, 17:02 PM IST

New York: Diapers go digital! A new `smart` diaper that can detect possible urinary tract infections, kidney dysfunctions, and dehydration in babies has been developed in the US.

The product, developed by a New York start-up, is accompanied by a smartphone app that can transmit the information about baby`s health to a physician.

At the front of the diaper is a patch with several coloured squares. Each square represents a different interaction with a protein, water content or bacteria, and changes colour if it detects something is outside of normal parameters.

There is also a neutral white square, to more easily check for colour changes in the other squares, the `New York Times` reported.

A smartphone app takes a picture and can make precise readings of the chemical data based on colour changes. The data is uploaded to a central location, where physicians can get information about how the child is doing and whether the baby needs further testing.

The diaper is expected to be tested at Benioff Children`s Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco in September.

Yaroslav Faybishenko, Pixie Scientific`s founder said he thought the diaper, which he said would cost about 30 per cent more than regular diapers, had potential as a consumer product, for parents who want to keep regular tabs on their child`s health.

Rather than overwhelming parents with data, the app is likely to let them know whether they should see a pediatrician for one or more possible conditions, manufacturers said.

With the parents` permission, the detailed urine analysis data could be sent to a doctor`s office.