A tiny new wearable designed to be worn on a baby or toddler’s wrist will soon be an option for families in the United States and European Union. Neebo, a baby monitoring device from Czech Republic-based Daatrics, has opened up pre-orders and will begin shipping by spring 2017.
The small, egg-shaped wearable aims to give parents and guardians peace of mind by tracking vital signs and any sound the baby makes, flagging any abnormalities and notifiying parents via a companion app. Neebo monitors heart rate, oxygen intake, body temperature and sends information via Bluetooth to a smartphone companion app as well as central device that can be placed in the baby or child’s room. The device, which runs on a battery that lasts a week, also picks up sounds from the baby – not surrounding sounds in the room, which can make for too much noise on traditional monitors – alerting parents of signs of distress or simply the baby being awake.
“When I became a parent for the first time, I was really crazy,” Daatrics CEO Andrey Kharullaev told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “Me and my wife were worried all the time about the baby, and we really wanted something that would give us peace of mind, especially when they were quiet.”
Kharullaev assembled a team to work building a prototype of Neebo, which is in its iteration and will get smaller and more sensitive by the time it is ready for shipping. Since it is worn on the wrist, it had to be safe for the baby to chew on, and also had to have a childproof clasp. On top of that, it had to be smart enough to tune out false alarms.
“It’s built around the idea that parents don’t need a lot of extra alerts,” said Kharullaev. “These are smart alerts. If it cannot deliver to mobile, it goes to the charging station and it produces a smart an audible alert, but only in case of emergency, such as abnormal heart rate or a high or low temperature.”
Similar to other baby monitoring wearables like Owlet or Sproutling, Neebo measures heart rate and oxygen intake. But Neebo is worn on the wrist, and plans to add more biometrics. Kharullaev said they definitely want to pursue FDA clearance. The company, which has thus far only done internal, unofficial testing with children in the Czech Republic, is currently in talks with a hospital in Portugal to begin studies for clinical validation, and is eager to begin more studies across the EU and US.
“We are also giving away the API to certain parenting apps, and are looking to connected health platform integration as we move towards FDA submission,” said Kharullaev.
While the wearable is just monitoring the basics for now, the Neebo team eventually wants to apply AI and more sophisticated sensors to form an “eavesdrop feature,” notifying parents or guardians if another caretaker or person is harming or yelling at the baby.
“With the final iteration, it will start to educate the AI and detect baby abuse – slapping, yelling, pushing – and will start to analyze the audio environment to detect patterns,” said Kharullaev. “We want it to be able to detect the event and confirm with other sensors to work with higher accuracy.”
The company is limiting pre-orders to 2,000, and it will sell for $199 during the initial phase before it goes up to $295. As the Neebo team is working on making the device smarter and more sensitive, they are looking towards the future applications for their device. Kharullaev said the company has received a lot of attention from parents of children with health issues like respiratory illness, or those with special needs.
“You may be in a situation where you just need to be away from your baby and want to know what is going on around them,” said Kharullaev. “Particularly when you are in places where you don’t have maternity leave, you have to work, you don’t necessarily have a medical need to know, but you want to trust you can leave your baby alone. You just want to know.”