Digital baby scales and apps could soon solve some problems of midwifery and health care in the first few weeks and months of newborns. German health tech startup Emiltonia from Dusseldorf is currently testing its stationary digital scale for babies and app and is planning the market launch of another smart hanging scale in July, targeting at creating local-specific comparative data for the growth of babies around the world.
In Germany, there is currently a lack of aftercare by midwives: only about 30% of parents find a midwife after birth. The search on the internet for information on healthy growth and possible problems often leads to even greater uncertainty among new parents.
But for them to have confidence in their child’s growth, they should now be able to use smart scales to check their own values and compare them to statistical averages. Midwives and doctors in turn can centralise the digital scales with an app to use for data collection and management and, for example, telemedicine or without home visits to act as an advisor.
WHAT HAS BEEN SAID
“The average values in the Emiltonia app are currently based on worldwide WHO [World Health Organisation] data, which doctors and midwives in Germany have always been working with,” explains the startup’s founder Michael Hebel, emphasising:
“However, the WHO data are relatively old and do not take into account neither local, genetic differences nor local nutritional situations. We therefore need a localisation of the average values in the growth of babies.” This goal can be achieved over the data collection within the app at Emiltonia medium term, the founder hopes.
HOW IT GOES ON
Currently, the prototype of the stationary baby scale from Emiltonia is still being tested by midwife practices, but in July, founder Michael Hebel wants to launch the digital hanging scale on the market. Downloading the app is already possible.
“Inside the app, besides tracking growth trends, we collect more data, such as nutrition, and support individual cases over a longer period of time.” Hebel hopes that parents will find support through the app, providing knowledge about the individual growth process and age-appropriate development of their baby.
In addition to monitoring growth for better self-assessment, the growth data from home monitoring will also be used in future in international growth and nutrition studies. Payers could also better monitor the services provided by midwives, says the startup’s founder.
Anna Engberg is a Wiesbaden-based freelance journalist specialising in health and technology.