Dad credits this wearable tech for saving newborn son’s life

In Science & Technology
Scroll this

For some new parents it’s rather unnerving to be responsible for a human life for the first time. One of the biggest fears is that the baby might succumb to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Ryan Golinski from Philadelphia in the US is such a parent.

“I’m a worrier, so I began to look into products for when the baby is sleeping,” Ryan Golinski tells US Magazine. “I can’t be standing over him 24 hours a day making sure he is breathing.”

So Golinksi and his partner Kate Crawford, spent $300 on a wearable smart sock to monitor their newborn baby’s vital signs.

Soon after investing in the high tech monitor, at 3 am on August 6, the sock alerted them: the baby’s heart rate reading was 286 beats per minute – a normal resting heartbeat for a newborn is between 100 and 150 beats per minute.

The next morning the relieved dad posted on Facebook: “So last night around 3a.m. The sock started alarming us something was wrong, which we thought was a false alarm because it said his heart rate was reading 286. But three resets later and it was still reading extremely high for an infant.”

So the new parents took baby Bryce to hospital where he was diagnosed with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia), an abnormally fast heart rate over more than 100 heartbeats a minute. SVT can lead to seizures, stroke and even death.

“We caught it before any side effects,” Golinski wrote. “So everything is going well now and his heart is still extremely healthy, if we didn’t catch it as early as we did with that sock, his heart wouldn’t have been able to handle it and we could be dealing with something a lot more serious.”

The smart sock, called Owlet, is worn on the baby’s foot. The monitor is embedded in a universal sock which can be worn on either foot. The device uses proven technology (pulse oximetry) to track an infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels and has a range up to 100 ft. The sock sets off an alarm on a base station and flashes a red light if the baby’s vital signs are in dangerously territory.

But do take note: A device like Owlet can’t prevent SIDS.

The cute high-tech sock can give parents some measure of peace of mind though by monitoring vital signs and alerting parents when the baby is in trouble. And the Owlet has definitely saved baby Bryce’s life.

And it’s not the first time.

Amy Bongard, a mother of four, is certain the Owlet saved her youngest son, Grayson, who was born three weeks early. Last year CNBC reported how Bongard decided to invest in the Owlet after finding her baby had stopped breathing while she was holding him. CNBC reported that 26 Owlet-using families had been alerted by their device in life-threatening situations.

Monitors like the Owlet provides welcome relief for parents of premature babies.

The device is especially suitable for babies who were born premature. These babies often have lingering problems with breathing and heart rate, so it’s vital to monitor them constantly – something that is exhausting for parents to do 24 hours a day.