How your phone could help you know when to change child's diaper
- Scientists from Penn State University have invented a diaper with a built-in sensor that sends a signal once it's wet.
- The researchers embedded the sensors between layers of the diaper.
Over the years, people have transitioned from washable diapers to disposable ones for different reasons, leading to the creation of multiple brands and sizes ranging from infant to adult diapers.
Parents can now receive an alert through their phones when a baby needs changing thanks to the invention of the smart diaper.
Scientists from Penn State University have invented a diaper with a built-in sensor that sends a signal once it's wet.
"The diaper is made out of paper that has been pre-treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has an outline of a circuit board on it that is traced over with a pencil to transfer graphite to the surface with a tiny lithium battery attached," Daily Mail UK says.
How It Works
The researchers embedded the sensors between layers of the diaper.
This way, when a baby wets it, the "graphite reacts with the liquid and sodium chloride and, as it’s absorbed by the paper, electrons will flow to the graphite to set off a sensor."
This signal is then transmitted to the caregiver's phone, detailing the degree of wetness. It makes it easier to determine whether the baby should be changed immediately.
Lead author Dr. Huanyu Cheng who is a father of two, says the challenges of babysitting whenever his spouse was not around led to birth of the smart diaper.
"There’s no easy way to know how wet is wet, and that information could be really valuable for parents," Dr. Cheng added.
While the smart diaper is helpful for children, it is of additional value to older people who rely on diapers such as the elderly.
Dr. Cheng said the smart diapers can be used in hospitals and nursing homes to give an overall alert about the user's health. Apparently, it can also help reveal health concerns such as cardiac arrest and Pneumonia.
"The sensor can provide data in the short-term, to alert for diaper changes, but also in the long-term, to show patterns that can inform parents about the overall health of their child."
The researchers also say that when the sensors were tested on face masks, they could determine breathing states- deep, regular and rapid- which could alert to certain risks including heart attack.
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