'One big fear for many new parents is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a mysterious illness that causes babies less than a year old to die suddenly and for unexplained reasons, usually during their sleep. To help allay those fears, scientists are developing a new gadget that can transmit vital stats to parents’ smartphones. It sounds like a great technological advancement, but are there reasons to be concerned about the idea of connecting babies to electronic devices that track them and broadcast their vital stats?
The new Fitbit-style monitor uses a liquid sensor that contains a mix of fluids including water, oil and graphene and was designed by University of Sussex physicists. Professor Alan Dalton said he got the idea to make a graphene emulsion while making salad dressing. Graphene is made up of a two-dimensional carbon atom layer and it’s conductive, flexible, and very strong. It is an affordable material that can be produced with graphite that occurs naturally, making it scalable as well. The graphene stops the other liquids from separating over time, and the researchers say theirs is the most sensitive liquid device ever reported.
The liquid is so sensitive that it can pick up even the tiniest signals when it’s attached to the body, allowing for wireless and non-invasive monitoring in the form of a band or even as a sensor vest that babies can wear. Breathing or even a person’s blood pressure is enough to stretch the tube that holds the liquid and change its conductivity, thereby enabling pulse and breathing rates to be tracked. The information is them transmitted to a person’s smartphone app.
The monitors that are currently used for checking babies’ pulses are clunky. They must be attached to their feet or hands, and they are prone to falling off, so the researchers believe this approach is a marked improvement over its predecessors.'
Read more: Parents now urged to connect their BABIES to smartphones: New Fitbit-style device monitors baby biometrics while bathing infants in EMFs
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