Little Sparrows Technologies Bili-Hut
A battery operated tool to treat jaundice in newborns
The Bili-Hut™ is a high-intensity jaundice treatment device designed by Donna Brezinski for babies everywhere.
The Bili-Hut is targeted for distribution in the African, Eastern Mediterranean, and South East Asia regions.
Not applicable. The device has not yet been commercialized and is still in the prototype/testing stage.
Other phototherapy solutions for treatment of neonatal jaundice. An overview includes competitors such as DtM Firefly, Draeger Photo-Therapy, Natus neoBLUE, Delta TL, and the D-Rev Brilliance series.
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
This is developed for rural healthcare facilities managing children with Jaundice mainly in LMICs.
According to the 2016 WHO Compendium, the device has simple, fabric construction and is manufactured mainly by sewing, enabling construction near points of use in many developing regions. The LED light array and electrical components are assembled from off-the-shelf components.
As the product is not yet commercially available, this is likely still subject to change. However, it is meant to work completely off the grid, with the fabrication simple such that local textile mills or other factories can make them for clinics nearby to acquire.
However, according to the 2016 WHO Compendium, local delivery and assembly of light array component parts that comply with quality standards may pose challenges.
None have been commercially distributed, but prototypes have been tested in pilot studies in a rural clinic, with more field testing on its way to other sites.
The Bili-Hut™ can operate for an extended time on a 12 V battery. It can be transported in a standard shipping tube. Its tent-like configuration keeps the light fixed at the appropriate height from the baby.
According to the 2016 WHO Compendium, the product specifications are as follows:
- Dimensions: 558 mm Length x 355 mm Width x 292 mm Height
- Weight: 3 kg
- Additional Power Requirement: 17 Watts
- Voltage Requirement: 110 V, 220 V
- Type of Energy Used: Rechargeable batteries or Continuous power supply
- Battery Life at Full Charge: 10 hours
According to the 2016 WHO Compendium, the training required will be to set up the device and follow operation instructions as provided. As the product is still not commercialized, the structure for technical support has not been finalized yet – ideas include providing help in person or with a written user manual. However, the designers claim that the device is very intuitive and requires minimal training time.
All the parts are off-the-shelf and can be replaceable.
According to the 2016 WHO Compendium, the estimated lifetime of the technology is 2-5 years, with an estimated shelf life of 5-10 years.
Little Sparrows Technologies states that the ideal phototherapy device needs to be lightweight and collapsible so it can be easily transported. The main manufacturing process should be something simple, like sewing.
None formally available. A blog post by a physician at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi exists that expresses her thoughts on the Bili-Hut that was donated to her hospital.
According to the WHO Compendium, 50 infants have been treated since then, with results for the first 35 patients presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in May 2016.
A rural hospital in Burundi has been testing out a prototype and has reported promising results, having treated five babies with neonatal jaundice as of October 2015.
Expert advisors suggest that the closed access of this product might lead to a wide variety of usage issues. The product might need risk mitigation measures to ensure the safety of the neonate.
Scientists at Stanford University (refer for Academic Research for full study) expressed concerns that the tent design may hinder close supervision of infants, which is crucial during the first week of life, and suggested safety testing for the possibility of causing overheating and infection.
Infant eye shield and thermometer
Brezinski, D., Lee, A. C., & Coda-Zabetta, C., 2019, “Bilikit–a comprehensive jaundice management package for resource challenged areas,” Gates Open Res, 3.
Biru, B., Dixit, S., Ogbuoji, O., Fernholz, F., Shahid, M., & Udayakumar, K., 2020, “Evaluating Saving Lives at Birth ,”.
The device received FDA approval for use in the United States, but the designer says that the Bili-Hut provides the intensity and quality of light recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and used by other blankets and lamps approved by the FDA.
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