Accordingly Indian-origin researchers at Massachusetts Institute of technology have developed a "smart" version of the product that can alert a caregiver when it is wet. This smart diaper is embedded with a moisture sensor that detects dampness and sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer, according to a study published in the journal IEEE Sensors.
The sensor could also be integrated into adult diapers, for patients who might be unaware or too embarrassed to report themselves that a change is needed, according to Pankhuri Sen, a research assistant in MIT's AutoID Laboratory. Diapers are used not just for babies, but for ageing populations, or patients who are bedridden and unable to take care of themselves.
"It would be convenient in these cases for a caregiver to be notified that a patient, particularly in a multibed hospital, needs changing," she added.
If worn too long, a wet diaper can cause painful rashes.