BabyBe helps babies in incubators to feel parents’ heartbeat (video)
BabyBe, a team that is one of the finalists in Intel’s Make it Wearable challenge, has posted a video of an update to its invention, a heart-warming wearable that will allow premature or other babies in incubators to feel their parents’ heartbeat despite being isolated.
The prototype shown in the video combines a small mattress which is built to feel like real human skin, and a separate sensor which can detect the parent’s heartbeat and breathing patterns that is worn on their chest. The sensor will detect and transmit readings to a control module, which then sends the information to a pneumatic pump in the mattress that makes the mattress move accordingly. BabyBe aims to bring back some closeness between the parent and baby, which the creators claim to help get babies out of the incubator faster and get better sooner.
Creators Camilo Andrés Anabalón Alamos and Raphael P.M. Lang tested the prototype on a real-life premature baby at the Hospital San Borja Arriaran in Santiago, Chile. The couple’s midwife highlighted that the birth team saw dramatic effects on the baby during the test, improving the infant’s blood pressure, and saw the baby become calmer with a decreased heart rate. However, they did not overlook the fact that in depth clinical trials were still needed to prove the device’s effectiveness.
The device’s goal is to transmit the touch of someone else to the baby, even when there is no one around or when it is not possible to be close to the baby. BabyBe can even record the information and replicate it when the parents are not about. The team hopes to place BabyBe in every hospital in every NICU around the world once the clinical trials are completed. The team is still in the running for first prize of Intel’s Make It Wearable challenge, which will be announced later today.