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Safe baby revolution: Technology empowers women from conception through pregnancy and beyond

Devices unveiled at CES 2017 in Las Vegas hailed as cutting-edge breakthroughs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 9:45am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 March, 2017, 9:45am

The business of birth has spanned the gamut from days gone by of mothers literally doing it for themselves, to a time in recent history when the modern medical profession took charge of the whole situation.

Millennial mums want to be involved in their own care. Technology is empowering women to do just that, from conception through pregnancy and beyond.

Firstly, who has time to let nature take its course these days? The Ava wrist wearable tracks all you need to know about a woman’s cycle, fertility and general health. Pop it on at night and the bracelet will predict when the time is right for lurve.

Say you start feeling contractions, but can’t tell if it’s an active labour or just a Braxton Hicks trial run. Bloomlife has developed a pregnancy wearable to be worn during the third trimester. It provides expectant parents with data on the frequency and duration of contractions to know when to head to hospital - and share that information with health professionals once they arrive.

So then you go home, and can’t get enough of this precious little new person in your life. In the suite of connected baby tech products developed by Philips – the company known for its smart home lighting – is Avent Smart, a Wi-fi-connected nursery monitor with day and night vision capability. Parents can ‘invite’ others to join them in watching over baby, and the soothing lullabies which help to settle newborns can be operated remotely by an app.

Coming soon from Philips is the Smart Baby Bottle Sleeve, a device which fits around Avent bottles to monitor the temperature of milk as well as the volume consumed. It can be connected to an air purifier to keep track of the nursery’s indoor air quality, and pairs with the Philips Hue lighting system to create a relaxing environment.

They say that mothers instinctively start “rocking” when an infant is placed in their arms – and they never stop. Self-rocking cradles like the IntelliCradle, equipped with a tablet personal computer for video chat and music playback, impact and weather sensors for child safety, and car seat attachments for easy transport, will act as surrogate. The Snoo Smart Sleeper responds to a baby’s crying, automatically beginning to gently rock and playing soothing ‘white noise’ to lull them back to sleep.

Uh-oh - baby suddenly appears unwell. Time to call upon Fever Scout, a sensor-enabled soft wearable thermometer which is popped under baby’s arm to accurately scan temperature 24/7. An alarm will sound if fever is detected, and the data can be sent to parents’ smart devices, so they can still monitor baby’s care when they are at work.

Before long you’re out and about. Chances are baby’s pacifier may accidentally get dropped on the ground, or you need to refill bottles on the go. The Ellie, a portable sanitiser which uses ultraviolet light technology to eliminate 90.9 per cent of germs in 60 seconds, will keep baby healthy and happy.

All these devices were unveiled at CES 2017 in Las Vegas in January as cutting-edge examples of breakthroughs in what the experts are calling the tech-led “safe baby revolution”.