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Healthy babies don't need apps to monitor vital signs

(Reuters Health) - Smartphone applications paired with sensors to monitor babies' vital signs may appeal to parents anxious to make sure infants sleep safely through the night, but there's no medical evidence proving these products work, a new paper suggests.

These apps linked to sensors in babies' socks, onesies, leg bands and diaper clips are marketed as tools to help parents keep tabs on things like breathing, pulse rate and oxygen levels in the blood and sound alarms when infants are in distress. But they aren't tested or approved for U.S. sale like medical devices and there's little evidence to suggest these monitors are safe or effective, said Dr. Christopher Bonafide, lead author of the opinion piece in JAMA.

"I’ve been there myself, peeking in the door of my son’s room late at night, making sure I could hear him breathing," Bonafide, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said by email.


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