This is one of those products that can make people smile: launched at the beginning of 2013, iCareNewlife (its Chinese website) is a duo of a handheld ultrasound and a smartphone app that tracks an unborn baby’s heartbeat and lets parents-to-be share that fetal data on social media. The product has generated a buzz since its launch for initiating the concept of tracking fetal sound at home. Reflecting on year 2013 in retrospect at TechNode, founder Tao Jianhui expressed his optimism towards the maternal market as both Chinese and overseas tech companies have followed to make similar products, like BabyWatch.
Instead of going through clinics, expectant parents can track the fetal sound easily with iCareNewlife’s small ultrasound device that connects to a smartphone with an audio cable. Tapping the quantified-self movement, the app records the baby’s heartbeats and visualizes it. Parents can listen to the baby’s heartbeat while watching the light on the ultrasound handle blink with the baby’s beats.
Another particularly heart-warming feature is the song maker in the app with which moms-to-be can make their customized lullabies by remixing the fetal sound with their own humming.
Excitement of new tech aside, there is ongoing public discussion on the high stakes of ultrasound devices that may affect fetal health. That’s why Tao repeatedly stresses his high bar for hardware quality, especially that “Made-in-China” are still synonymous with quality problems. He ends his New Year remark with the aspiration that competitors in China can stimulate the market for wearable devices together.