Once a day you scan the QR patch on the front of a wet Smart Diaper with your phone. Our algorithms instantly begin to analyze the data, looking for signs of UTIs, dehydration and developing kidney problems. It takes less than ten seconds to take your phone out of your back pocket, scan, and put the phone back - we've timed it ;)
One role of our kidneys is to filter specific solutes from our blood. By taking useful data from a wet Smart Diaper, we make use of something that would normally be thrown into the trash. Smart Diapers alert you to certain conditions that require immediate attention and also track your child's health for months or years, automatically looking for emerging trends. This allows parents to be more proactive when taking care of their child.
The data we track in the first version of Smart Diapers can reveal signs of:
Our goal is not to create another quantified self gadget. Our aim is to create a product that is unobtrusive in your daily life and only speaks up when there is a reason to see a pediatrician or specialist.
Any child can get a urinary tract infection, though girls get them more often than boys. 7-8% of girls have one by the age of 24 months. When symptoms of a UTI are present they can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can include fever, pain or burning during urination, irritability, not eating and nausea. Unfortunately, these are difficult to observe in children who wear diapers.
Often the symptoms may appear to pass even though the problem isn't resolved. This can happen because of structural deformities or simply because the body has found a temporary way to deal with the bacteria. If this happens then the infection can recur, while the child simply appears to have "just another fever."
While most UTIs aren't serious, some can lead to chronic kidney infections. These infections can cause permanent damage such as poor kidney function and high blood pressure later in life.
Ever wonder if your child is drinking enough? Are you transitioning from breastfeeding to formula? Introducing a cup? Has your child had a sore throat for days? We don't want to make you worry after a day, but if we see that your child's urine is overly concentrated for a prolonged period, we'll give you a heads up.
Kidney problems can develop for multiple reasons - due to premature birth, an infection, undiagnosed diabetes, etc. Typically, observable symptoms don't show up until several years after a problem's already begun. Our goal is to look for early signs and to make sure that children who require diagnosis, monitoring, or care will receive it before the observable symptoms set in.
For children who have already been diagnosed with a chronic kidney condition, we hope Smart Diapers will make a parent's job easier by eliminating the need to manually squeeze the diapers onto a urine analysis strip and then write down values for specific parameters on a paper log.
For researchers, we hope Smart Diapers and the data we collect will become a useful tool. Are you a pediatric nephrologist? Interested in learning with us? Please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.