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Top 5 Reasons Customers Reported Red Notifications in 2016

Please note: The following report is a collection of customer’s accounts after receiving a red notification while using Owlet. Owlet is not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

As we start this new year we can’t help to reflect on the incredible year we had in 2016. We tracked over one billion heartbeats and won the Engadget Best of CES: Best Startup Award. These were great accomplishments, but we have to say our best accomplishment this past year was in helping parents and families create safe sleep environments for their little ones and notifying families when their baby’s oxygen levels* or heart rate fell out of range.

We want to share some insights we found, excluding false red notifications, as we dug a little deeper into each of these scenarios. As we carefully analyzed information around these reported red notifications, we found some commonalities among these families and their accounts. While we cannot say definitively the cause of the low oxygen levels or out-of-range heart rates, we can report the facts that were given to us when these different families shared their experiences.

Here’s what we found to be the top five correlating factors associated red notifications last year.

1. Stopped Breathing (31%) – Unknown Cause

Thirty-one percent of red notifications reported last year were associated with a pause in breathing for unknown causes. While we cannot speculate what would have happened had the parents not used Owlet, we do know the Smart Sock detected a low oxygen level and notified the parents.

2. Labored Breathing (29%)

Twenty-nine percent of families reported receiving a red notification and upon inspection, noticed that their baby was experiencing labored breathing. Reported signs of labored breathing included a change in their baby’s breathing patterns* (quick, shallow breaths) and baby’s chest caving in.

3. High Heart Rate (21%)

Twenty-one percent of families reported a high heart rate notification from Owlet.streaming Patriots Day 2016 movie

4. Obstructed Breathing (11%)

Eleven percent of families reported a low oxygen notification from Owlet and found their baby’s airway obstructed. Some examples can be found below:

  • A mom who fell asleep while breastfeeding her baby and Owlet sounded a red notification and woke her up. She found her baby fell into a position that restricted her breathing.
  • One mom woke up to a red notification to find her baby’s hand over her face while sleeping.
  • A mom and dad woke up to a red notification from Owlet and found that her husband rolled over on top of the baby while the baby was sleeping in their bed.
  • One mom woke up to a red notification and found a blanket covering her baby’s face.

As mentioned before, we cannot say that these particular details caused the red notifications, but these were the facts that may have contributed to triggering a red notification.  Owlet encourages safe sleep practices and we are launching a study to find out how often parents and other caregivers follow these recommendations.  We are pleased that the red notification provided additional support in these circumstances.

5. Choking (8%)

Eight percent of families reported waking up to a red notification and finding that their baby was choking on formula/breastmilk.

One of our driving missions at Owlet is to educate families about safe sleep practices to help parents like you create the safest sleep environment for their baby. Adherence to safe sleep guidelines is the best way to keep your baby safe, and 11 percent of reported red notifications last year were due to “Obstructed Breathing” may have been prevented by following these guidelines. We hope that we can use these experiences as a learning tool to help parents learn about, and implement, safe sleep practices.

If you have an experience you’d like to share where Owlet sounded a red notification for your baby, just fill out this form here. We’d love to hear your experience to help further educate parents about safe sleep.



 *Disclaimer: Owlet is intended to provide peace of mind.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. This is not a medical device and is not intended for use as a medical device or to replace a medical device. The Owlet Baby Monitor is only intended to assist you in tracking your baby’s wellbeing and is not intended to replace you as a caregiver. You are ultimately responsible for your baby. This device is not intended to cure, treat, or prevent any disease or health condition, including, but not limited to, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
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    1. Hi Tarah! We’re always trying to improve your experience and would like your feedback for how we can improve the app. Can you send us an email at contact@owletcare.com with which mobile device, model, and operating system you use, along with the problems you’re experiencing? We hope to get the app running smoothly for you soon!

  1. We have gotten a red alert about 4 times within the last couple months. Our baby sleeps in our room, in his own bed so we are woken by the base station alarming. I do seem to have an issue with receiving a notification on my phone however. Out of the 4 times, I think I have gotten 2 of them. One of them I don’t remember what the alert was for, it was late and I cleared the notification without looking to see what it said. The latest one was for a low heart rate. One morning I sat and watched my babies heart get high (it was under 220 so no alarm but higher than his normal rate) and another morning drop super low. I am curious to know what the other reasons for the alarms were now. I wish there was some sort of log that you can reference for your alerts or even better a chart of babies sleep. I would love something to show how my baby is sleeping in terms of heart rate and oxygen.

    1. Hi Angie! We’d love to talk to you about the issues you are experiencing with your app. Can you please give us a call at (844) 334-5330 Monday-Saturday 7am-9pm MST? We will also pass your suggestion along to our engineering team about the log of notifications. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Hi! Our baby has lyrangomalacia (noisy breathing) and we’ve had her on a monitor at home prescribed by the a physician until she has a procedure to help with labored breathing. Will the owlet work for us post surgery? Or will it constantly be going off due to her condition? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin! The Owlet is designed to notify you if your baby’s oxygen levels drop below 80% and if their heart rate dips outside of the 60-220 range. These levels are preset and non-adjustable. It is up to you to decide if that will work in your situation. We wish you the best of luck with the upcoming procedure!

      1. My son has the same thing. He has been using Owlet since day one. It doesn’t go off due to his breathing. Even with Laryngomalacia babies heart rates and oxygen levels should stay in safe ranges unless the condition is extremely sever and if that’s the case other steps should be taken.

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