Hospital Technology for the Home
September 9, 2016
Until recently, parents were limited to their eyes and ears to monitor the wellbeing of their child once they brought them home from the hospital. For many new parents, this sudden cessation of in-depth monitoring is stressful, as new babies exhibit strange sounds and movements unfamiliar to the adult body. Fortunately, parents can now access the same technology, pulse oximetry, in their own home with the Owlet Baby Monitor.
What is pulse oximetry?
Pulse oximetry is what is used in that little clip they put on your finger at the beginning of your appointments. That clip measures your blood oxygen level by shining a little light through your skin and reading how much light is absorbed by your red blood cells, which will vary by how much oxygen is bound to those cells. It also measures your heart rate, or how many times your heart beats in one minute. This information is extremely valuable in determining if a breathing or heart problem exists in an individual.
The Value of Pulse-Ox
The creators of Owlet realized that the valuable information collected through pulse oximetry could serve a huge need in the parenting world. As parents ourselves at Owlet, we know the anxiety that comes with having a newborn, and losing sleep over worry. And unfortunately, that worry is justified. In 2014 more than 3,000 healthy babies died while sleeping than in their crib. So a couple of dads decided it was time to do something about this tragedy and created Owlet.
Pulse Oximetry CUTE-ified!
By miniaturizing the pulse oximeter and removing the wires, but maintaining accuracy, parents can now use pulse oximetry in their own homes in the form of a tiny little sock. Parents no longer need to lay awake staring at a monitor, tip-toeing into the nursery to watch for breathing, or pressing their ear up to a monitor to listen for sound. Now they can have access to actual, relevant information that is representative of respiratory and cardiac function. All they have to do is take a look at their phone and see the numbers, then fall asleep peacefully knowing the Owlet monitor is silently monitoring their little one, designed to sound a notification if a problem should arise.
The notification strategy integrated into the Owlet monitor was designed by a team of pulse oximetry specialists, pediatricians, neonatologists, pulmonologists, and hundreds of thousands of hours went into testing the Owlet monitor to make sure that it was the safest and highest-quality it could be for those tiny baby feet. And we are pretty proud of the results, and the incredible stories we hear about how the Owlet monitor has notified parents when their baby’s oxygen level fell out of range. The power of pulse oximetry in the home is undeniable.
However, the term “hospital technology” can be intimidating, especially because the majority of parents don’t have formal medical training. Some may wonder if the monitor requires special skills or knowledge to operate. But the Owlet was specially designed with accuracy in mind. The fabric sock is designed to perfectly fit each baby’s foot to allow for good positioning, even as they grow.
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