Tuesday 25 June 2019

Irish dad fed up with 'inadequate' baby monitors - so he decided to invent his own

Inventor Paddy Healy (37) with his wife and twin daughters
Inventor Paddy Healy (37) with his wife and twin daughters

Cormac Fitzgerald

An Irish dad has invented a wearable baby monitor because he felt that current monitors were inadequate for dealing with a baby's needs.

Paddy Healy (37), from Drogheda Co Louth, began working on the device in February 2013 when he found out his wife was pregnant with twins.

Paddy, who works as a clinical engineer in Drogheda hospital by day, noticed that existing monitors had a number of failings including not being able to monitor two babies sleeping in the same cot.

“While looking at baby monitors I started to see inadequacies and failings in the current ones that you could buy,” he told Independent.ie.

“That put me on the path to designing my own and looking at ways that I could improve existing monitors.”

Paddy’s monitor makes use of wearable technology. A small device is fitted to a special vest with fabric sensors, the sensors then track a wide-range of the baby’s bodily functions, including a full ECG of the heart, breathing, body temperature and position.

“There are other wearable baby monitors available but none that have the kind of features that will be in my monitor,” said Paddy.

After developing the initial device, Paddy then got involved with an EU funded programme called ‘VITAL - Ideas Connected to Business’, which connected him with Shnuggle, a family-run childcare retailer based in Co Down.

With the help and investment from Shnuggle, Paddy has sent the product to be assembled and hopes to have the prototype ready by the end of the year, with the product expected to hit markets in the next two years.

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