smart technology

Watch: How a revolutionary new bangle from Bangladesh protects pregnant women

Sensors on the bangle protects women from dangerous situations, and send regular prenatal care reminders.


A smart new bangle from Bangladesh adds a whole different meaning to the idea of wearable jewellery.

COEL, short for Carbon Monoxide Exposure Limiter, looks just like another piece of trendy jewellery. Except that it;’s been developed for maternal wellness and prenatal care by Grameen Intel Social Business Limited (GISB), a collaboration between Intel Corporation and Grameen Trust.

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In 2015, the number of deaths was roughly 3,03,000. And think about this: approximately 4 million women and children’s deaths are attributed annually to indoor gas exposure. This number could be significantly reduced by ensuring easier access to proper health information and preventing exposure to harmful gases.

COEL does exactly that.

It could prove to be particularly useful to women in rural areas who have little or no access to healthcare facilities and lack sufficient knowledge to protect themselves and their child. COEL is made of highly durable plastic with a special state-of-the-art sensor that can detect the level of carbon monoxide in the air, from burning wood, charcoal or animal dung, while also being water and dust resistant.

If the bangle detects harmful levels of carbon monoxide near a pregnant woman, the device beeps and flashes red, and a recorded voice recommends opening windows and doors or moving to a safe area. It requires no internet connectivity and is equipped with a battery that lasts 10 months – covering the entire duration of the pregnancy.

This revolutionary device is also programmed to utter about 80 pregnancy-related wellness messages, around two per week. The messages are designed to provide imperative information on following a proper diet, vaccinations, cramps, convulsions, when to see a doctor and preparation for the delivery, and can be customised according the wearer’s pregnancy dates. The messages have been translated by GISB into Bangla for local women; the company plans to customise the device to speak more languages before launching the product in other countries.

This smart gadget has already been put on initial trials in India, while nearly 5,000 bangles were distributed to women in rural Bangladesh. The feedback was positive – the bangle was even compared to “a trusted friend”.

One of the focal points of the project, according to Pavel Hoq, chief operation officer of GISB, was to ensure affordability. Each bangle will cost about Tk 1,000-1,200 (approximately Rs 800). GISB wrote on its Facebook page that a commercial launch is expected in a couple of months.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.


To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.