Expectant mothers can wake up to a wellness report of their unborn child and be notified if fetal heartbeat and movement are within acceptable ranges with the new Owlet Band, winner of two CES awards in the categories of Wearable Technology and Tech to Change the World. Specialized sensors housed in a fabric band that sits around the mother’s abdomen track fetal heart rate and kick count, sending real-time data to a smartphone. This innovative technology gives parents a glimpse inside the womb all in the comfort of their own home.
The innovative Owlet Band features:
- Fetal heart rate tracking
- Fetal heartbeat recording
- Wellness notifications
- Automated kick counting
- Contraction tracking
- Maternal sleep position indicators
The Owlet Band, made with DuPont™ Intexar™ ultra-thin fabric sensors, feels like comfortable clothing, but includes data gathering sensors. Using novel, state-of-the-art algorithms, the Band extracts fetal heartbeat and movement from bioelectrical signals. This data provides the mother important insights into the wellness of her developing infant during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, so she can see and potentially share these results with friends and family.
In a study with the Perinatal Behavioral Physiology laboratory at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the Owlet Band is being tested for accuracy validation and feasibility. “We are continually searching for these types of products that we, as researchers, can utilize to collect and analyze meaningful physiological data with confidence. We are optimistic that the Owlet Band will provide this valuable information for non-invasive assessment of maternal and fetal health,” says Dr. William P. Fifer, Professor in Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Columbia University.
Sentiment amongst over 300 pregnant women tested internally has been extremely positive, with respondents noting the No. 1 benefit of the Owlet Band being the assurance that their baby is okay. In addition, they stated feeling even more peace of mind being able to hear their baby’s heartbeat and view live readings via the app.
“Doctors have been wanting a technology to capture accurate readings at home in order to really find out what is happening inside the womb,” said Robert M. Silver, MD, renowned stillbirth researcher and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Utah. “By having this data readily available, I believe we can get a better understanding of the physiology of the normal pregnancy.”
The band’s monitoring technology is enabled by DuPont™ Intexar™, a smart clothing technology that integrates seamlessly into fabric. Intexar transforms materials into smart, wearable health care that sense and transmit biometric signals. The Intexar sensors are extremely thin and are bonded to a stretchable knit fabric band, providing a form-fitting and comfortable feel.
Srijanani Bhaskar, DuPont Advanced Materials, says: “Our Intexar team believes in innovation, and when that innovation can provide meaningful insights during such an important time in a mother’s life, it takes on a very special significance.”
Note: Owlet plans to release a consumer version of the product later in 2019. For more information or to sign up for the beta program, please visit here.