High-Tech Baby Monitors May Be a Bust

Smartphone baby monitors had little confirmed benefit for healthy babies

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(RxWiki News) They may make use of the latest consumer technologies, but wearable smartphone baby monitors may not provide many benefits, a new study found.

In fact, these devices might cause unnecessary alarm in parents of healthy babies, which could lead to overdiagnosis, said the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers behind this study.

"There is no publicly available evidence that these baby monitors are accurate in measuring a baby's vital signs," said study author David T. Jamison, executive director of health devices at ECRI Institute, in a press release. "And since these baby monitors are not regulated by the (US Food and Drug Administration), we have to question what testing has been done to assure the safety and quality of these designs."

This study looked at five models of high-tech baby monitors. Although none of the makers of the devices claimed that their products prevented, diagnosed or treated any health problem, one of them mentioned sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in a video ad and claimed that the product might notify parents of a problem.

At the conclusion of their study, these researchers raised concerns about the effectiveness of these devices. They were also concerned that inaccurate or unnecessary readings might lead to overdiagnosis or overtreatment for infants, which can be harmful.

Talk to your doctor about how best to keep your baby healthy.

This study was published in JAMA.

Information on funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Last Updated:
February 3, 2017