A baby's pee could tell you a lot about his or her health: Dehydration, urinary tract infections and kidney dysfunctions can all be detected in urine. But even the most discerning of parents -- regardless of how much they sniff or stare -- need help picking up on these abnormalities.
A New York start-up called Pixie Scientific is now stepping into the ring with digital diapers that promise to track children's health with little fuss and effort.
How do they work? According to Yaroslav Faybishenko, who started Pixie with his wife, Jennie, the diapers have patches at the front with several colored squares that change color as they react to different compounds, such as water content, proteins or bacteria. This, says Faybishenko, can help in the detection of possible UTIs, kidney dysfunctions and dehydration. The diapers are accompanied by a smartphone app that can read the data and send it to a physician.
Pixie Scientific is reportedly working with the Food and Drug Administration on approval. According to the New York Times, the "smart" diapers will likely be tested at Benioff Children's Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco in September. Columbia University's children's hospital may also conduct some tests.
If all goes smoothly, the diapers -- which are estimated to be 30 to 40 percent more expensive than regular diapers -- will be available at hospitals, before finally hitting the shelves at stores.
Although many have already expressed excitement at the dawn of the digital diaper, some experts are wary.
"I am not sure you need this for the average kid," Ari Brown, a pediatrician and author of "Expecting 411," told ABC News. "I'm not confident this a useful screen for a bladder infection because its not a clean specimen. Also, for these highly anxious parents, I am not sure it will be reassuring. It might be alarming, in fact."
Faybishenko insists, however, that the point of the diapers is to ease parents' concerns, only alerting them when it's time to take their child to see a doctor.
This isn't the first time this year that "smart" diaper technology has made headlines. In May, Huggies announced its new TweetPee app that alerts parents when their child wets a diaper.
Would you use Pixie Scientific digital diapers if they hit the market? Tell us below.