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Meet Dr. Ken Ward

April 25, 2017

Hello, Owlet Community! I’m excited to introduce myself and start a dialogue about all of the innovative work we have going on at Owlet. My name is Ken Ward. As a Perinatologist and a Geneticist, I have assisted at more than 8,000 births, many for babies at-risk. Throughout my career, I have advocated for empowering parents of newborns and for providing health information through user-friendly tools such as the internet and mobile phone apps.

Recently, I joined the Owlet team as Medical Director. I have turned down many similar positions in the past, but I accepted the Owlet invitation because I was so impressed with the potential of the Owlet Smart Sock to make an important difference in the lives of parents and their babies. In addition, I am impressed with the commitment of the Owlet founders to make a baby monitor that is designed for, and more accessible and appropriate in the home.

I look forward to being a part of the Owlet team and answering any questions you may have regarding Owlet. I encourage you to submit any questions and I will respond them via this forum. For my first post, I’d like to address a question we frequently receive regarding Owlet and traditional pulse oximeters.



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6 thoughts on “Meet Dr. Ken Ward


To the makers of Owlet…I NEED you to hear MY story. Your product SAVED my daughter’s life on Easter Sunday, 2017. My name is Kevin VanSpeybroeck. My wife’s name is Ashleigh. I am a father of two. I have a four year old son named Tyler & a three month old daughter named Paisley. Tyler was born full term with no health issues. Paisley was born 8 weeks premature…here is my actual Facebook post as to what happened on the night of Paisley’s birth…

Paisley Rose VanSpeybroeck, our new daughter, is here! She was born February 4, 2017 @ 5:14 am. We had a WILDLY intense, but BLESSED weekend. I’ll try to make this as brief as possible…Ashleigh was only 32 weeks pregnant. She woke up Saturday morning around 3:30am. She was bleeding and having some heavy contractions. So, I grabbed Tyler, and we all got in the car and drove VERY FAST to Genesis East. On the way I called my brother, Andy, to come get Tyler from the hospital. Ashleigh was immediately taken into the E.R. She was still bleeding and her skin was very pale. Sparing MANY other details, the doctors decided the baby needed to be delivered IMMEDIATELY, or the baby, and/or Ashleigh…would die. They started to wheel her to the operating room. I followed them, assuming I’d be able to accompany my wife. The birthing team, however, asked me to stay behind. I had to sit in a room by myself for about 20-30 minutes, not knowing if either Ash or Paisley were going to make it. That 20-30 minutes felt like a lifetime…FINALLY, a nurse showed up at the door with a HUGE smile on her face…Both were alive!!! As of this moment, Ashleigh & Paisley are doing great! Paisley is amazing! She is premature, so she will have to be in the hospital for several weeks until she reaches term. PLEASE pray for Ashleigh, myself & especially 3 & 1/2 pound Paisley…Our little girl who has already showed us she is a fighter with a HUGE heart. We have a long road ahead of us, but we are blessed! God is great!

Ashleigh and Paisley had made it! However, Paisley had to stay in the Genesis NICU. About two weeks into her stay, the doctors told us she would need to be transferred to the Iowa City NICU because she wasn’t digesting her food properly. We were in Iowa City for about 3 weeks, and, thankfully, her digestive system healed & she was transferred back to Genesis for about another two weeks. Then, we the doctor told us the words we’d been waiting to hear…”You can take her home!”
Upon our arrival home, my wife began worrying about Paisley’s vitals while she slept. She heard about your product and described it to me.
I LITERALLY remember thinking, “Great…another expensive baby product we won’t need and we won’t use!” I didn’t want it, but, since Paisley was a premie, Ashleigh convinced our family to buy it for us.
When it came in the mail, my wife was all about it…I, however, kept it at an arm’s distance, still believing it was just another useless baby product.
Well, in early April, my wife’s phone broke, so I was “forced” to finally download the owlet app on my phone. I was also forced to learn how the product works. After I explored the app, I had to admit, “This is really cool, but, I’m still not sold on it’s usefulness.”
Fast forward to Saturday night, April 15, 2017…the night before Easter. Our whole family was sick. We all had terrible colds, myself included. Of course, we had BIG Easter plans, starting with Church, and then meeting with family for lunch and an Easter Egg hunt. We went to bed early that night, not feeling great, but, for the most part, everyone was fine.
Around 3am, Owlet’s alarm sounded VERY loudly. We all woke up and Paisley’s oxygen levels were VERY low. We took care of her the best we could through the night, but eventually realized we needed to call our local visiting nurse. When she arrived to our home, she knew Paisley needed to go to the ER immediately.
We made it to the local ER, and we heard those dreaded words…”Paisley will need to be transferred to Iowa City AGAIN.” My wife literally fainted…
After we accepted reality, we all made it to Iowa City again. The doctors in Iowa City told us she had a SEVERE bronchial infection & that her oxygen levels had reached as low as 20%. They also told us if we had NOT been using the Owlet sleep system…our daughter would have died.
Well, she was discharged from Iowa City about a week later. We’re home now, and we’re all feeling much better. Paisley’s Oxygen levels are normal again. We’re still using the Owlet Sleep System, & I am your company’s biggest advocate. Also, even though my wife’s phone is now working, I still proudly have your app on my phone:)
I write this email through tear stained eyes…Thank you SO much. Our family has been through A LOT over the last few months. However, because of the Owlet Sleep System, our daughter’s life was spared…and all on on Easter Sunday! Thank you God and thank you Owlet!

Kevin VanSpeybroeck
Modern Woodmen of America
Proud husband and father of two

Kyrie Read

Hi Lisa! We recommend talking to your doctor or pediatrician about any medical concerns you have. If you’d like to ask a question about the Owlet to Dr. Ward, feel free to use the link above!



So my 2 month old who was born 4 weeks early has recently received her 2 month vaccinations
And since then her sleeping heart rate has jumped up
Since birth it has slowly gotten slower as she has grown
It was getting down to like 115-125
Now it has jumped back up to 140-150
Any ideas as to why?

Kyrie Read

Hi Andrew! We understand your concern. We don’t take red notifications lightly but we suggest using your eyes and ears to first check your baby. If your baby is okay, we recommend taking a look at the sock fit as false red notifications are often caused by an improper fit. We suggest double checking the sock sizing guide here: https://support.owletcare.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000882203-New-Sock-Sizing-Guide. If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (844) 334-5330 Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm MT.



Last night the red alarm went off that my sons heart rate was low. I woke up immediately and noticed he had a pulse in breathing. He was difficult to arouse for a couple minutes. Once he woke up, he was fine. What could have caused this? My son is 7.5 months old and has been very healthy. The only thing is he has had a runny nose lately.


John Q

Welcome aboard Dr. Ward!!