New student invention to cut down on SIDS cases


Tanor Hodges, and his team recently won at the third annual BYU Student Innovator of the Year Competition. Their prototype won first place and crowd favorite, and their prizes totaled $6,000.

The Owlet Baby Monitor, created by a six member team, is a monitor that straps around an infant’s foot and uses pulse oximetry to measure heart rate and blood-oxygen levels.

[Jaren Wilkey] The Owlet Baby Monitor and the app that can be used on a parent’s smartphone.

Kurt Workman, 23, studying chemical engineering at BYU came up with the idea with his lifelong friend, Tanor Hodges, 23, who works at the University of Utah Hospital, and works frequently with pulse oximetry technology.

Hodges explained that at the hospital pulse oximetry technology consists of a big bulky box that connects to a patient’s finger via a wire. Hodges explained that being able to work with this technology, so it wouldn’t be dangerous for a baby was the goal of this project.

“It’s a noninvasive monitor that lets parents know if a child stops breathing,” Workman said.

Jacob Colvin, 28, studying European studies at BYU, has always been interested in medical devices and helping people.

Colvin explains this device was created to give parent’s peace of mind.

“I can remember all the times we were up late at night checking on our kids making sure they were okay,” Colvin said.

The Owlet Baby Monitor is something the team wants every family to be able to afford and use, Hodges explains.

“We want to be able to make it affordable for everybody…it gives parents a little warning that they need to check on their baby,” Hodges said.

The teams hopes the wireless monitor and noninvasive technology, will help to cut down on the annual cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which number around 2,500 in the United States each year.

Hodges explained that the monitor is worn on the baby’s foot as a little bootie to measure the baby’s heart rate and oxygen-levels. The bootie is wireless and based in silicon rubber to keep it form getting wet.

The wireless baby bootie is transmitted to a booster station in the baby’s room, that then sends a signal to the parent’s smartphone or home computer, if any levels drop. For some reason, if the smart phone or computer malfunction, the booster station in the baby’s room will then start alarming, Hodges explained.

Along with Hodges, Colvin and Workman, are BYU students Wyatt Felt and Jason Dearden, who are studying mechanical engineering, and Anna Hawes, a chemical engineering student at BYU, that make up the rest of the team.

For more information about the team and the product, visit




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