I was actually a fire hazard when I was pregnant because I would sometimes forget to turn off the stove! Many pregnant women can relate. The forgetfulness is not a figment of our imaginations. Researchers have confirmed the subtle memory losses especially when multi-tasking during pregnancy.

But there is more to it than being just forgetful. In poorer parts of the world, health care resources are limited and illiteracy is rampant. UNICEF put out a call for designs to help such communities monitor pregnancies and births.

Night Agency's RFIDLifeband is one of the innovative ideas using radio-frequency ID technology. Pregnant women are given the stretchable bracelets to wear from their first appointment. The inbuilt timer will remind them of their next appointment. When the woman goes into labor, the bracelet sends her vital signs and her location to the care center. A health worker will then visit to register the baby and check up on the mother and infant.

The new mother can transfer the bracelet to the baby. The care center will register the new heartbeat and keep track of the baby's vital signs. The bracelet also alerts the mother to the next well baby check-up. The data from the device is accessed by the health care workers at check-up time.

This bracelet innovation surely has other potential applications and not just for UNICEF projects. Given my occasional "grey" (as opposed to blonde) moments, I could do with this bracelet to remind me of appointments!

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