Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart meter helps mothers breastfeed with confidence

Steve Rogerson
April 19, 2016


 
A smart meter designed to monitor and measure, in real time, a baby's milk intake while breastfeeding has been introduced by Delaware-based Momsense. The wearable technology will provide knowledge that could give peace of mind and confidence for mothers in the first months of a baby's life.
 
Research shows that although 80 per cent of new mothers choose to breastfeed their newborn baby, half of these women stop once their baby reaches four-to-six weeks old, predominantly because they believe they aren't providing sufficient milk to feed their baby.
 
The technology aims to support breastfeeding mothers and empower them with enhanced intuition and knowledge.
 
"Breastfeeding is a significant period for both mother and baby,” said Osnat Emanuel, Momsense CEO. “We want to create a breastfeeding experience that gives mother a sense of calm and confidence, and so encourages her to continue breastfeeding and benefit from it."
 
Momsense is a tech start-up founded by serial entrepreneur Izhak Nakar, acting Momsense executive chairman. The company's board of entrepreneurs includes Emanuel, who brings expertise in creating interactive technologies for babies.
 
The company has invested millions of dollars to produce its smart meter to fill a gap in the market where millennial smartphone-savvy mothers are demanding more information and control when breastfeeding their babies.
 
"Momsense delivers to an essential need and will drive a new paradigm of women continuing to nurse their babies for longer," said Nakar.
 
The meter consists of a smartphone app and earphone set containing an embedded baby safe sensor for mothers to listen to their baby's swallow sounds. Together, these measure how much milk the baby is consuming while nursing. It performs a complex analysis that calculates the quantity of milk consumed, identifying in real time the baby's effective swallow sounds via an audio signal that can distinguish between the effective swallow sounds and other baby sounds.
 
As such, the algorithm is comprised of a database using hundreds of nursing events that were documented in the Momsense laboratory. The resulting computed quantities of milk consumed were compared with recorded changes in baby's weight directly after feeding – the medical standard today for calculating the amount of milk consumed. This resulted in being able to compute an optimal assessment of the quantity of milk the baby has consumed.
 
The analysis of the feeding results is done in real time using any smart device and offline, as flight mode is recommended. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and from Google Play.
 
The app also tracks and reports the nursing patterns over time, records the baby's voice sounds in a baby album to share with loved ones, and gives helpful breastfeeding tips, all to help mothers stay confident throughout the experience.