New Wearable Breathing Sensor Can Lower Risk of SIDS

New technology, with breathing sensors in a flexible circuit board, can help save infants from SIDS by alerting parents if the baby stops breathing.

For babies older than a month, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death; in the United States, it's the number one cause. New technology from German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute may be able to help. The design uses a breathing sensor that can be sewn into clothing.

The researchers created a printed circuit board that is stretchable, so when it is attached to clothing it can fit to the contours of a body. By adding small breathing sensors to the circuit board and ironing it onto a romper suit, the technology can monitor breathing and immediately notify parents if the baby experiences respiratory arrest.

Because the circuit board can be made from common materials and routine manufacturing processes, it can be made at a low cost. The researchers are also exploring several other ways to use the flexible circuit boards, from lighting to bandages.

Infant photo from Shutterstock; romper image courtesy of the Fraunhofer Institute