We are a society of consumers who are newly intrigued with using data and analytics to improve our daily lives. Thanks to the fresh education around data and an understanding of how numbers can give us deeper insights and information regarding how our bodies and minds work, we are more accepting of embracing the power.
But how about using data and cloud technology to make you a better parent? According to the showcase at CES 2014 this past January, technology for parenting is a huge market and new parents are more accepting than ever to “wire” their kids to make parenting more “efficient and accurate” (if those words can even loosely be associated with parenting).
So let’s take a quick look at how this could work…
We all know that keeping a close eye on babies when they’re sleeping is important. And that’s why the original walkie-talkie type monitors were created and parents could listen in to their little ones to make sure sounds seemed normal. Now, baby monitors are nothing short of surveillance cameras that can record and transmit every leg twitch and arm movement.
But, take it a step further and now, babies can be monitored for more than what you hear or see – now it’s about monitoring their vitals and always keeping tabs on their oxygen levels, heart rate, body temperature, and the like.
The Owlet, which is a sock-like baby vitals monitor that wirelessly sends information (using the cloud) to your smartphone through an app, focuses on monitoring and collecting this important information. Parents using this product can track their baby’s data and better understand his/her behaviors and body changes…and even detect when the baby rolls over.
Other products focusing on vitals include the MonSmart Monitor, which specifically tracks sleeping habits. MonSmart is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for funding and their goal is to expand beyond infant health and encourage parents to use this device to track a child’s sleeping habits through their younger years.
The goal of these connected baby monitors is to help parents understand their babies and their behaviors, and help parents understand and respond in specific situations that could affect the baby’s current and/or future health…you know, make you a better parent.
Another important piece of “data” new parents need to know is their baby growth, including the baby’s height and weight. The Withings baby scale is a wireless scale that collects the height and weight of the baby via an app and stores and displays the information within a dashboard. The app dashboard shows a line graph of the baby’s growth pattern and compares it to the average so parents can see if the baby is progressing as he/she should.
Another interesting aspect of this product/app is that parents can log feedings. Rather than writing down the time and amount consumed during each feeding, you can log it into the app and ensure the baby is eating frequently enough and consuming enough. This information is valuable for parents, and also for pediatricians. Using this app, parents won’t have to worry about recalling accurate information since it’s right there.
One of the scariest things for new parents is leaving their baby is with anyone – anyone at all. How much do you tell the grandparents or caregivers? How can you possibly write down everything they need to know? Instead of worrying about passing notebooks and handwritten notes from person-to-person, the Baby Connect app provides that peace of mind all new parents want.
The Baby Connect app is basically a repository for the baby’s medical history. With an account that can have more than one user, but is restricted pending approval, the app can be on the phones of the parents, grandparents, and caregivers. The data entered is synced and stored in the cloud, so all information is updated, accurate, and the same, no matter which device accesses the information.
So, while the generations before have fared well without the use of connecting their babies and used more instinct and less data to parent, this new era of data and analytics could lead to better parenting…or maybe just technology overload.
Can Data And The Cloud Make You A Better Parent?