Incubaby Neonatal Incubator
Incubaby is a low-cost incubator for hypothermic infants that can be flat-packed and is made using simple materials that reduce the cost and shipping.
Incubaby is a low-cost solution to the condition of hypothermia in infants developed by a team of engineering students at Rice University. Hypothermia, a dangerous condition in which the baby’s temperature falls below 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit), is quite common in infants. The innovation works by increasing the core temperature of the body of the infants using electronics, shielded by double-wall plywood panels. The prototype can be manufactured and assembled locally in developing countries. The prototype consists of two boxes: one to hold the baby and one to hold the electronics. The students plan to ship the final prototype of the IncuBaby incubator to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi.
Malawi and other developing countries
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
The prototype was designed and built by a team of engineering students at Rice University. The product is assembled with laser-cut plywood, acrylic windows in the top and front, and polystyrene foam for insulation.
The product can be manufactured locally or remotely and shipped.
The product is in the development phase.
The product is in the development phase and the design team is piloting the project at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi.
The low-cost incubator designed and built at Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen uses heating pads and simple materials to keep an infant’s body temperature stable while providing temperature feedback. The material used for the fabrication of the prototype is birch plywood and acrylic with polyurethane foam to provide insulation in the walls of the system. All materials were specified as they are easily available in workshops of developing countries.
Regulated by a micro-controller, the heating pads receive inputs from a thermistor which is mounted onto the body of the infant, keeping the infant’s temperature at homeostasis. An alarm system alerts the care provider of overheating or power loss.
Provided by the manufacturer
The incubator can maintain an infant’s temperature within +/- 1 degree Celsius of the desired body temperature and has less than 2.5 % error.
The product is still in the prototype phase.
No third-party testing has been completed.
If the feedback system that reads the infant’s temperature fails, the infant health might be compromised.
A reliable power source is required to keep the incubator functioning. The incubator can be run on battery as well in the areas where continuous power supply is not available.
Tlebere, P., Jackson, D., Loveday, M., Matizirofa, L., Mbombo, N., Doherty, T., … & Chopra, M. (2007). Community‐based situation analysis of maternal and neonatal care in South Africa to explore factors that impact utilization of maternal health services. The Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 52(4), 342-350.
The incubator is in field trials in hospitals.
In context photographs (0)
You can use the form below to contribute a photo of this product.
In context files & documents (0)
Feedback from users, customers & distributors
Please let us know your experience in using this product through comments below.