The Owlet Smart Baby Monitor was rejected by Kickstarter and decided to go the Selfstarter route to crowdfund their product. The goal was to raise $100,000 and as of today – with several days left in the campaign – the project stands at over $140,000 raised from over 840 supporters.
“This really has been a grass roots movement,” says Kurt Workman Founder/CEO and father of a baby on the way, “ Parents knew that this product would not come to fruition unless we reached our goal of $100,000, and so they graciously shared our project on their social networks and anywhere they could. We could never have done this without such a supportive community.”
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the number one cause of infant death from one month to a year. The Owlet team hopes that with the newly possible ‘Owlet Data Set’ they will be able to make discoveries that have never before been possible. Owlet Baby Care has created a baby “smart sock” that transmits a child’s heart rate, oxygen levels, skin temperature, sleep quality, and sleep position (rollover alerts) to a parent’s smartphone. This device will not only be a big help for sleep-starved parents but also a huge help for data-starved researchers.
“We are really excited by all the scientists and researchers who have reached out to us with the desire to put the Owlet Vitals Monitor’s data to good use,” says Kurt Workman. He continues, “The largest cause of infant death from one month to a year is SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the fact that it is a syndrome means nobody knows why all these babies are dying every year. We hope that Owlet’s data set will allow researchers to use big data to learn more about things like SIDS.”
According to professionals, researchers are often data-starved. By creating the largest set of infant health data, the team hopes to open the doors for researchers to find causes, cures, and predictive models for many infant ailments.
“With a large enough data set, and with good predictive models, parents could be informed of the probability that their child will develop a condition such as bradycardia, sleep apnea, or autism,” says Steven Liddle, PHD and Data Scientist. He continues, “Every heart beat, every kick, every temperature reading, and every nap is a new data point that never before has been seen by researchers on this magnitude.”
These predictive models could very likely lead to a reduction in infant mortality. An infant’s health data would only be used if the parent opted in. The data will be made anonymous and only shared with accredited research organizations.
The Owlet Team is currently going through the FDA process to add an alarm, along with other features, to the next version of the product. This will take the Owlet Vitals Monitor to a whole new level, notifying parents of drops in heart rate or oxygen levels, and helping to prevent emergencies. The Owlet Team expects to finish FDA clearance by 2015. “The FDA process is a long and expensive one and we need everyone’s support to create this lifesaving product,” says Jacob Colvin. Owlet’s FDA-cleared product could save hundreds to thousands of infant lives that are taken by SIDS every year.
Have a crowdfunding offering you'd like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!