Comcast-Backed Firm Develops Smart Diapers

A patent issued this week to a wearable products developer backed by Comcast shows how the nation’s largest cable MSO could one day pitch subscribers home health monitoring products such as smart diapers that can measure temperature and detect diseases.

The invention is from BodyMedia, a technology firm that was acquired by Jawbone in 2013, the year after Comcast Ventures led a $12 million funding round in BodyMedia.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts demonstrated Jawbone’s UP fitness bracelet at NCTA’s The Cable Show convention in 2013, showing attendees how Comcast could display fitness data collected from wearable devices on TVs and mobile devices connected to its cloud-based X1-platform.

BodyMedia details in the patent how it could place sensors on adhesives attached to diapers and other garments that can monitor body temperature and detect diseases.

“The adhesive may also be designed to react to chemicals presence in normal moisture and/or perspiration from the skin, exposing results to observers through chemical reactions that result in color or other visual feedback as to the parameters sensed. These may include: sodium, chloride, potassium and body minerals. Potential conditions could be recognized such as: cystic fibrosis or substance use,” BodyMedia states in the patent.

Stivoric
Stivoric

BodyMedia founder John Stivoric is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Apparatus using temperature data to make predictions about an individual.”

Stivoric is now VP of research and development at Jawbone.

Abstract: The invention comprises systems, methods, and devices capable of deriving and predicting the occurrence of a number of physiological and conditional states and events based on sensed data. The systems, methods, and devices utilize the predicted and derived states for a number of health and wellness related applications including the administering therapy and providing actionable data for lifestyle and health improvement.

Patent

Claims: 

1. An apparatus for monitoring physiological status parameters, comprising: at least one ambient temperature sensor configured to continuously generate data indicative of a temperature in an area that is adjacent to skin at a preselected body location; and a processor in electronic communication with said at least one ambient temperature sensor, wherein said processor is adapted to receive at a least a portion of said data indicative of the temperature in the area, and utilize said received data to detect movement of said skin at the preselected body location, and wherein said at least one ambient temperature sensor is at least one of a worn device, and the apparatus further comprising an additional sensor in electronic communication with said processor, said additional sensor generating data indicative of at least one of a contextual parameter of said skin at the preselected body location and a physiological parameter of said skin at the preselected body location.

2. An apparatus for monitoring physiological status parameters, comprising: at least one ambient temperature sensor configured to continuously generate data indicative of a temperature in an area that is adjacent to skin at a preselected body location; and a processor in electronic communication with said at least one ambient temperature sensor, wherein said processor is adapted to receive at a least a portion of said data indicative of the temperature in the area, and utilize said received data to detect movement of said skin at the preselected body location, and wherein said at least one ambient temperature sensor is at least one of a worn device, and the apparatus further comprising an additional sensor in electronic communication with said processor, said additional sensor generating data indicative of at least one of a contextual parameter of said skin at the preselected body location and a physiological parameter sensor of said skin at the preselected body location, wherein said processor further receives at least a portion of data indicative of at least one of a contextual parameter of said skin at the preselected body location and a physiological parameter of said skin at the preselected body location, and is programmed to utilize said received data indicative of the temperature in the area, said received data indicative of at least one of a contextual parameter of said skin at the preselected body location, and a physiological parameter of said skin at the preselected body location to detect movement of said skin at the preselected body location.