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Smart Diaper Warns Against Dehydration, UTIs and Kidney Problems

Jul 12, 2013 02:54 PM EDT
New evidence published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences helps support the idea that babies are born with core psychological and physical frameworks that help them navigate the world..
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Smart diapers may not warn against heavy traffic or bad weather, but the can inform parents regarding their child's health. All it takes is a quick, once-a-day scan with a phone and within seconds algorithms analyze the data provided on an attached QR code.

"A role of our kidneys is to filter specific solutes from blood," the makers, Pixie Scientific, explain on their site. "By taking useful data from a wet Smart Diaper, we make use of something that would normally be thrown directly into the trash."

Information gathered includes signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can be a problem for young kids sitting in their mess, prolonged dehydration and developing kidney problems, the developers report. And while most UTIs are not serious, some can lead to chronic kidney infections and ultimately permanent damage such as poor kidney function and high blood pressure later in life.

Meanwhile, kidney conditions, whether due to premature birth, an infection, undiagnosed diabetes or other factors, usually don't manifest observable symptoms until several years later in life. Through developing a diaper capable of closely observing urination, those at Pixie Scientific explain they hope to detect early signs and ensure care for those who need it.

In the case of those children who have already been diagnosed with a chronic kidney condition, the makers explain that they ultimatley hope the high tech diapers will enable parents to forego current methods of squeezing diapers manually onto a urine analysis strip for evaluation of the condition.

"Our goal is not to create another quantified self gadget," the site states, "but to create a product that is unobtrusive in your daily life and only speaks up when there is reason to see a pediatrician or a specialist."

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