Neonurture Car-parts Incubator
Four million babies, mostly from the world’s poorest regions, die within a month of birth every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if a working incubator were available. Currently, neonatal incubators donated to developing countries last less than five years, some due to electrical surges or brownouts, others from lack of training on how to use them. The nonprofit organization Design that Matters teamed with the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, a global-health consortium, to address this urgent need to produce Neonurture, a durable, lowcost neonatal incubator and isolation unit.
Understanding the system in which the incubator would be produced, used, maintained, and distributed was fundamental. Doctors in the field noted that the small trucks, cars, and motorcycles used by aid agencies could be found in the remotest of locations, along with distribution chains for replacement parts and the mechanics to repair them. A modular prototype incubator was developed using these vehicle parts: headlights to generate heat, filters for clean air convection and filtration, alarms to alert caregivers, and a motorcycle battery for power. Plans are to train mechanics to be medical technologists and to conduct clinical trials with the next-generation model, with the ultimate goal to create regional manufacturing systems to build local infrastructure and clinical skills.Location: bangladesh, cambodia, india, indonesia, laos, nepal, united states, vietnam