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Far Out Tech

No Joke, These 'Smart Diapers' Can Detect Your Child's Health

No Joke, These 'Smart Diapers' Can Detect Your Child's Health
Image credit: Smart Diapers

Far Out Tech

It seems like every other day we read about some far-out, new technology that makes us scratch our heads and say, "What the heck?" In this series, we'll take a look at all types of crazy new gadgets, apps and other technologies -- and the entrepreneurs dreaming them up.

If you thought diapers on chickens was weird, this new product takes wearable technology to another level. A New York City-based startup called Pixie Scientific has created a smart diaper that it says can detect possible urinary tract infections, kidney dysfunctions and dehydration in babies -- all by analyzing what junior leaves behind.

Here's how it works: At the front of the diaper are several colored squares, each representing a different interaction with a protein, water content or bacteria. The idea is that a patch will change color if it detects anything unhealthy or unusual in the urine. Parents can then use a smartphone app to take a picture of the squares and get information on what the changes in color mean.

"I was driving with my wife and daughter one day, when my wife asked if the baby had wet herself," Pixie Scientific founder Yaroslav Faybishenko recently told the New York Times. "I realized she was sitting in data."

Pixie Scientific expects to run more tests on the "smart" diapers this fall at the Benioff Children's Hospital of the University of California in San Francisco. If it moves beyond the testing phases the diapers -- which could cost up to 30 percent more than traditional diapers -- would likely require approval from the FDA.

There should be a ripe market for a product that can detect possible health issues in babies. After all, there are plenty of hyper-anxious parents who will do and pay anything to make sure no ailment or discomfort befalls their children.

Now, if only they could invent diapers that change themselves...
 

Jason Fell is the managing editor of Entrepreneur.com.

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