PROVO, Utah, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Michelle Blanchard's Owlet Baby Monitor alerted her late one night that her 2-month-old infant had low oxygen levels. Michelle picked up her baby, who was silent and bluish in color, and began pounding on her baby's back, clearing her airway of built-up mucus. Baby Pia let out a scream and started breathing again. Michelle's story is just one of many recent Owlet Baby Monitor stories that have been shared by new parents who were part of the company's private beta release.
The Owlet Baby Monitor, which is available to the public today, is a unique device that leverages pulse oximetry, the same technology used in hospitals, miniaturized into a baby sock to alert parents if their baby's oxygen levels and heart rate are out of range and they are having difficulty breathing. With unintentional suffocation the leading cause of injury death among U.S. children under the age of one, it's no wonder parents often have trouble getting a good night's sleep during baby's first year. With the Owlet Monitor, moms and dads can rest easy knowing they will be alerted if their baby is in distress. As further proof of providing ease of mind for parents, the Owlet Monitor was just awarded the coveted Parent's Pick Award, along with the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association Safety Category Award at juvenile products largest industry show, ABC Kids Expo.
"While awareness around the threat of suffocation has increased in the past decade, many people don't realize just how quickly and easily it can happen," said Dr. Milena Adamian, M.D., an investor in Owlet. "Look at the invention and use of car seats -- their use has been mandated to prevent infant fatalities and has been successful at that. Comparatively, suffocation kills 10 times more infants each year than car crashes. It's time we take advantage of the technology available and give parents the tools they need to help keep their babies safe."
With the Owlet Baby Monitor, vitals readings from the Smart Sock are relayed to the base station and then to parents via a simple smartphone application, enabling them to check in on their baby from across the hall, or even remotely while they are away from home. While the Owlet Monitor collects sophisticated data, the sole purpose of the device is to alert parents if their baby is not breathing or if the baby's heart rate is out of range -- giving parents one less thing to worry about.
The Owlet Baby Monitor alert strategy was set by a team of pulse oximetry specialists, pediatricians, neonatologists and pulmonologists. Owlet received the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval at Seattle Children's Hospital, and is also undergoing clinical validation for accuracy and sensitivity at the same hospital. Owlet Baby Care is currently seeking FDA clearance and working with researchers and clinicians to develop a device with medical applications. Recently, the company was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for further development and research, and was included in an exclusive two-week program with Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation.
"We're relentlessly dedicated to providing parents with reliable, easy-to-use devices to monitor baby's wellbeing," said Kurt Workman, CEO and co-founder of Owlet Baby Care. "As advanced monitoring technology is made appropriate for the home nursery, and information gathered from devices like the Owlet Baby Monitor give researchers the ability to study ongoing infant health, we hope to help doctors and parents improve infant care starting the moment the baby leaves the hospital."
Owlet's founders also shared their emotions about this milestone today in an announcement on the company blog.
In addition to the NIH grant, Owlet Baby Care recently received $6 million in new funding, bringing the total raised to $9.2 million. This Series A funding was led by Formation 8 (F8), with participation from Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, as well as many of Owlet's previous investors.
"Owlet is using the power of business and technology to make the world a better place," said Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes and Owlet investor. "I have used the Owlet Monitor since my son was born and I LOVE the product!"
The Owlet Baby Monitor is available for purchase today and retails for $249.99. For more information and to order the monitor, please visit OwletCare.com. Owlet is not a medical device and children with irregular heart rates, oxygen levels or other special medical needs should not use the Owlet Monitor as their primary monitoring system.
About Owlet Baby Care
Owlet Baby Care, Inc. was founded in 2013 by a team of passionate parents who wanted to bring themselves -- and other parents around the globe -- peace of mind and assurance by developing a monitor that tracks a baby's breathing and heart rate. Using pulse oximetry, the same technology used in hospitals, the Owlet Smart Sock will send alerts, to the base station and via WiFi to a smartphone, if a baby were to stop breathing while sleeping. See the device in action by watching this video or visiting OwletCare.com.
SOURCE Owlet Baby Care