At 3am last Sunday, first time parents Ryan Golinski and Kate Crawford woke to an alarm. The wearable monitor they’d strapped to their baby’s foot was alerting them that his heart rate was through the roof – 286 beats per minute, more than double the normal pulse for a newborn.
According to a viral status Golinksi posted to his Facebook page, he and his wife reset the Owlet Smart Sock device three times, but still the reading was high.
When the US couple rushed their son the hospital doctors diagnosed Supraventricular Tachycardia, which is an abnormally fast heart rhythm stemming from improper electrical activity in the upper part of the heart. While generally non life-threatening, it can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and/or fainting.
“So everything is going well now and his heart is still extremely healthy, if we didn’t catch it as early as we did with that sock, his heart wouldn’t have been able to handle it and we could be dealing with something a lot more serious,” Golinski wrote.
The wearable device that the couple were using is among several baby heart and breathing monitors available on the market.
Most work by communicating data to a base station or mobile app that will alert you if the child’s levels heart rate or oxygen levels fall outside of preset ‘normal’ zones.