January 12, 2014

Soft Teddy Bear that Measures Pulse, Temperature, and Oxygen Saturation When Held

At the CES 2014, a company introduced a soft, plush teddy bear that children (and even adults) all over would love. For physicians who care for children, it's not so much on the outside that matters, but what is in the inside as apparently, it is full of sensors that enables the teddy bear to pick up essential vital signs of the child who is playing with it.

Called "Teddy the Guardian," it is unclear from reports exactly how pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation are measured (and how reliable it is compared to more traditional tools). However these measurements via bluetooth can be collected, structured, analyzed, visualized and interpreted on a tablet, web or mobile app.

According to news reports, the "sensors are scattered around the bear’s body; pressing a finger to the bear’s paw, for instance, takes heart rate and oxygen levels" [TechCrunch].

If used in a medical office or hospital setting, it is unclear how the teddy bear can be decontaminated between child patients to prevent spread of disease. Even if parents purchase one, cleaning would still be important.

Apparently, the company is short on cash and their creation may never make it to market unless it manages to receive enough venture capital or gets bought out by a larger company.

In any case, check it out!

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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