PARENTS concerned about the risk of cot death could keep track of their babies’ heart and breathing rates with updates to their phones.

Designed by physicists at the University of Sussex, the new wearable technology features liquid-based sensors which contains the world’s first two-dimensional material, graphene.

The university says the fluid inside the device is made from an emulsion of graphene, water and oil, which conducts electricity.

This means the respiration rates and pulses of those wearing the device can be tracked.

Professor Alan Dalton said: “Using the conducting liquid emulsions we have developed, we will produce cheap, wearable sensors based on graphene.

“The devices will be comfortable, non-invasive and can provide intuitive diagnostics of breathing and heart rate.

“We will eventually have a suit the baby can wear which will read out all vital information wirelessly.

“We hope to see this made available within two to four years.”

Researchers were inspired to create the new health monitor after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called for new affordable, wearable health technologies for babies in situations where resources are scarce.

Currently, to monitor the pulses of babies clunky sensors need to be attached to their tiny hands or feet, and often fall off.

Due to the liquid technology being so sensitive, it picks up very small signals when attached to the body.

This means monitoring could be done wirelessly and non-invasively with a fitness tracker like band.

It could even be embedded within the fabric of a sensor vest for a baby to wear.

Prof Dalton said the sensor they have created in the lab has the potential to drastically improve early detection of life-threatening symptoms including sleep apnea or cardiac arrhythmia.

Constant monitoring of these conditions with conventional equipment is challenging outside the hospital.

Prof Dalton suggested the technology could one day even be expanded into fitness wear.

He said: “Graphene is very affordable as it can be produced using naturally-occurring graphite, so this could be rolled out on a big scale.

“This is good news for health services across the country because the new technology will not be expensive to make and buy.”