A company under the same umbrella as Google, called Verily, has teamed up with Procter & Gamble brand Pampers to use sensors, video surveillance and software to monitor infants, according to a report by the Financial Times.
Parents can attach a sensor to a child’s diaper, and it will let the parent know when it’s wet, and at the same time collect data for when a baby is sleeping, and create a chart of activity.
It’s called the Lumi system and it’s going to launch in the fall. The smart diaper system comes with a video monitor made by Logitech so parents can monitor babies through the app no matter where they are.
All the companies involved in the endeavor say that the data is only going to be used for the parents’ consumption, and that the leftover data will be used to make the product better and for research and development of new products.
Introducing Lumi by Pampers, the world’s first all-in-one connected care system that is revolutionizing baby monitoring, developed in partnership with #Verily and @Logitech #lumibypampers https://t.co/NqhBwXSrws
— Pampers (@Pampers) July 18, 2019
The potential privacy concerns have some experts worried, however.
“Parents may find this new system convenient, but not [recognize] the serious risks to their privacy,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy.
Verily’s chief medical and scientific officer, Dr. Jessica Mega, said the company used its past expertise on sensors and software to develop the product. One thing in particular, she said, that helped the company was the knowledge it gained from its Onduo diabetes management platform.
The direction of helping people make decisions by providing them with data is one that Verily feels strongly about, she said.
“This idea of surfacing timely, relevant and helpful insights is core to what we do at Verily,” she said.
Verily is a product of Google X, an Alphabet unit, and it started in 2015. The company develops tools and software platforms to help gather healthcare information in many different settings. It recently partnered with Johnson & Johnson in the field of robotic surgery.
The company also recently opened an opioid addiction treatment center.