When new mum Lindsay Elliott faced the challenge of separation anxiety from her daughter Hazel, she found an unlikely saviour: a sock. To help calm any worry about Hazel’s health, the 29-year-old teacher bought a $300 ‘smart sock’ which uses pulse oximetry – inspired by hospitals and adapted from gadgets such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit – to monitor oxygen levels, heart rate and temperature.
“I always had a fear that she would just stop breathing. It was my personal anxiety, so that oxygen level helped so much,” says Elliott, who lives in Winter Park in the US state of Florida. With this piece of baby technology, Elliott could sleep easier and go out to dinner with more trust in a babysitter if Hazel were wearing the gadget. She could simply track her daughter’s vitals from her phone.
Elliott is one of a growing number of millennials introducing smart baby technology into their lives as parents. Millennials are, after all, the generation most accustomed to feedback and data on every aspect of daily routine. Consumers use apps and wearables to track their fitness, sleep cycles, diets and work habits. For many, tracking their children’s health is a natural next step.