Wearable Baby Monitoring Devices Ineffective, says a British Doctor


Millions of parents throughout the world use wearable baby monitoring devices to give them a peace of mind in so far as baby care is concerned. It is therefore coming as s shocker the assertion of a British doctor that these wearable devices that are usually used to monitor the vital signs of infants actually have no proven effectiveness. Does this mean that some parents who relied fully on these devices have ended up losing their children? Well, that’s difficult to tell.

A clinical lecturer in pediatrics from the University of Sheffield in Britain, David King, said that medical professionals and consumers should note that these devices “have no proved use in detecting health problems or safeguarding infants. The devices also have no role in preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

These wearable devices for infants are usually marketed as tools to give parents a peace of mind with regard to the infant’s health, they cost between $200 and $300. This industry is growing worldwide.

Similar products were developed and sold in the 1980s and 1990s. They were developed specifically to reduce SIDS but studies showed that they were ineffective.

David King therefore now says health care professionals should not recommend these products to reduce parents’ fears of SIDS but should instead focus on interventions that have been proven to work, such as encouraging parents to put infants on their back to sleep.

These products do not require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the United States and there is no published data to prove that they are effective. The developers do not even need to provide this data because they are sold as consumer devices rather than medical devices.

“The risk is that the substantial amounts of money that parents pay for such devices might lull them into a false sense of security,” said David.

He acknowledges that certain situations may justify home monitoring, such as the case of infants who need oxygen or preterm infants. But he says caregivers and parents in these cases need to be trained in operation of the monitor, observation techniques, and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

According to King, manufacturers should be required to undertake trials or observational studies to support any claims they make concerning the effectiveness of these devices.

He also recommends that manufacturers should place prominent disclaimers at the point of sale to emphasize that they are not medical devices and that no evidence shows that they reduce the risk of SIDS or have any other health benefits so as to help parents make an informed decision.

King was concerned that the manufacturers of these wearable devices for infants are not being completely transparent with their future customers. He said the parents may be lulled to have a sense of security after purchasing these devices with disastrous consequences. As at now it may not be easy to tell how many lives have been lost as a result of the use of these wearables if the claim that they are ineffective is true.


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