Baby monitors become mHealth for the nursery

The days of a baby monitor serving as a listening device in a nursery are giving way to mHealth technology that lets parents monitor everything from breathing and heart rate to temperature, and allows them to access the data from an app, according to a New York Times article.

Some of the new devices require a baby to wear specific clothing, while others feature tech built into attachments that a baby wears during sleep time. But as the Times article notes, there are needed improvements as wearables can be dislodged or prove distracting to a sleeping child.

There is also the issue of deciphering all the data provided by the tools, note medical experts.

"If you're letting that technology indicate on some monitor that your child is breathing OK, that might be fine for not getting up one time in the night," Kimberly Kopko, co-director of the Parenting in Context Initiative at Cornell University, told the Times. "But I wouldn't recommend an overreliance on it. I really don't think there's any substitution for good old-fashioned monitoring, particularly of an infant." Article