Really? There's a Digital Diaper -- and It Diagnoses UTIs

New smart nappy detects bladder infections, dehydration and more

Just when we thought we'd seen it all, a start-up company in New York has come out with -- wait for it -- a digital diaper. But before you get too excited, these dipes from the future can't change themselves. (Keep dreaming, mama!) Instead, they analyze your baby's pee to detect illness like a urinary tract infection or dehydration, a condition that can be especially dangerous for young ones. 

“I was driving with my wife and daughter one day, when my wife asked if the baby had wet herself,” Pixie Scientific founder Yaroslav Faybishenko told The New York Times. “I realized she was sitting in data.” Ew -- but also kind of brilliant!

Here’s how it works: a patch of the dipe contains squares of material that change color based on interaction with proteins, bacteria and water content found in pee (one section remains white for comparison's sake). When you’re changing your kid, take a photo of the squares with a smartphone app that will analyze the chemical reaction for you -- and even send the info to your pediatrician.

Don’t rush out to get these smart diapers just yet. Before hitting the market, they'll be tested out in hospitals some time this fall. If successful, they'll then need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. If the diapers do make it into stores, they're expected to cost about 30 percent more than regular disposables.

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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