From KickSmart to BabyLoop
Our Design & Innovation team was fortunate enough to work together with the KickSmart co-founders. In this project report, we suggest that KickSmart changes the presentation of its product, a fetal monitor band, from a medical device to a consumer product without changing the basic function (monitoring a baby's movement) and its target market segment (pregnant mothers and her family). We think this product shift will increase mothers' enjoyment during her nine months of pregnancy beyond the original concept. We believe our new product, titled "BabyLoop," creates a unique feedback loop between a pregnant mother and her baby. Moreover, we believe that "BabyLoop" may help produce a deeper relationship between a mother and her baby after birth.
The initial proposal that KickSmart approached us with aimed its focus on market research and identifying potential market segments. However, our user interviews revealed that most healthy mothers do not consider it necessary to monitor fetal movement continuously, which KickSmart originally suggested. Also, most of them felt that continuous monitoring would increase their uneasiness during an already stressful time.
In addition, we talked with clinicians and realized it is difficult and undesirable for them to receive alerts based on the fetal monitor band because they are very busy, and there would be the potential for mothers to worry unnecessarily and repeatedly contact their doctors. Also, it was stated multiple times that clinicians do not place a high value on fetal movement, as it is only one of the measurements of fetal health.
Through our market research, potential consumers are segmented into two groups, those who prefer professional and highly accurate medical devices and those who prefer low cost consumer products which enable them to communicate with their babies. We did our best to blend the two concepts with this product, to develop a highly-functioning, but cost-effective product, with intelligent design choices.
KickSmart's fetal movement monitoring technology can make it possible to produce the high-functioning band with relatively low cost. However, in order to truly meet the current market needs, we felt it necessary to not only produce a low cost monitoring band, but also to design a comprehensive phone application, and incorporate more features into the band, such as heart rate tracking and speakers. We believe our suggestion will increase KickSmart's chances of success in the highly competitive maternity marketplace.