Innovation out of Love

Mollie and Jeff Evans bring peace

of mind to parents

Being the parent to an infant is both exhilarating and exhausting, not to mention at times a little intimidating. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of a child. Parents educate and arm themselves with resources and tools to help navigate the first year of their baby’s life. But even the most prepared parents know the unsettling need to check their infant’s breathing while they sleep. Thanks to Mollie and Jeff Evans of Omaha, there is now a product that will help give parents some peace of mind—the Baby Vida Oxygen Monitor.

When her oldest of four children, Tanner, was born, Mollie was prepared for everything except the realization that if he stopped breathing in his sleep, she would have no idea what it sounded like. The only oxygen and heart rate monitors available were very expensive devices used by medical professionals. She approached Jeff, who had experience developing products and bringing them to the marketplace, and discussed her desire to develop a home oxygen monitor.

“This idea was born out of Mollie’s love for our children,” Jeff said. “But once we realized how important it was, we wanted to make it a real product available to moms and dads throughout the world.” Once Mollie started talking to other parents about the product, she realized the concern regarding a baby’s breathing was universal. Hearing other parent’s stories became the motivator to continue to develop and perfect their product, which took two and half years to complete.

The Baby Vida Oxygen Monitor is a small device that gently wraps around the back of a baby’s foot and covered with a soft, comfortable support sock to keep the monitor in place, which can be worn alone or underneath infant socks or footed sleepwear. The device uses pulse oximetry to constantly monitor the baby’s oxygen level and heart rate. Sophisticated algorithms produce accurate readings while taking into consideration sudden movements and normal baby behaviors.

The monitor connects to any IOS or Android smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth, and using the free Baby Vida app, parents can select predetermined ranges based on the baby’s age, anywhere from one day to one year old. Should the child’s oxygen level or heart rate fall outside of the ranges, the smart device will flash red and sound an alarm through the Baby Vida app.

If it sounds like a high tech, complicated product to develop, Mollie and Jeff will tell you it was. In July 2012 they went on a worldwide search for electronic and mechanical engineers to help them with initial concepts. Then they teamed up with Communications Systems Solutions out of Lincoln, NE, who was able to use new technology to get more accurate readings from the monitor. “We spent thousands of hours testing to ensure proper readings,” Jeff said.

Then in February 2014 they held a focus group. At that time the monitor was handheld and looked like an alarm clock. Although it worked well, parents said they didn’t want to have to carry it around and would rather have it app based right on their smart phone or tablet. “It was going to be an expensive change, but we knew we had to listen to them,” Jeff said. “So went to work with our team developing an app and syncing it to the monitor. When we held clinical trials, it was so accurate and worked so well, it blew our expectations out of the water.”

Once the product was viable, they worked with local and regional companies to manufacture it. Omaha Graphic Designer Anna Chappell created the logo and packaging for Baby Vida, which will be available in Wal-Mart stores nationwide beginning July 15th.  Mollie will begin traveling around the country promoting Baby Vida and telling their story, including appearances on national daytime shows. “With four children, I know babies, and I know what parents want,” she said. “This is something that should be used for every baby, every time they sleep.”

Now that they have brought Baby Vida to life, they’re ready to begin the next stage of their mission. “We knew if we could get the product to work, then we wanted to get it in the hands of every mom and dad out there, which is why we did it,” Jeff said. “The foundation for this product was built on love, and that’s what enabled it to happen.”

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