Updated on November 7, 2023


Created on June 23, 2016

Neopenda Vital Signs Monitor for Newborns

Upcoming Update

Neopenda is an infant hat with sensors to monitor vitals.

Developed By
  1. Neopenda
Tested By
  • St. Francis Nsambya
Content Partners


Product Description

simple, low-cost, low-power, sensor integrated into a baby hat that measures newborns’ key vital signs. Continuous monitoring improves the speed of action in life-threatening situations for neonates and ensures that when they are in distress, they have the best chance to receive the care they need to survive and thrive. The device is a prototype that is still in the early testing stages. Interview with representative

Target Regions


Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Neopenda, Ugandan Pediatric Association

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Lifebox Pulse Oximeter.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The devices are currently manufactured in-house and with local partners by Neopenda. Interview with representative

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Ultimately the product may be purchased and distributed through wholesale distributors of medical equipment; in Uganda, the primary distributors are National Medical Stores for public hospitals and Joint Medical Store for private hospitals. We are also pursuing implementation with multi-national NGO partners. Interview with representative

Distributions to Date Status

This is a prototype and not available on the market as yet.

Design Specifications

The Neopenda vital signs monitor is a wearable sensor device that gives voice to newborns in medical distress and enables more responsive, efficient medical care in low-resource hospitals. The device attaches to a baby hat or band and uses reflectance pulse oximetry and temperature sensors to continuously measure pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature. The vital signs from multiple newborns wearing the devices are wirelessly transmitted to a single tablet via Bluetooth Low Energy, where attending healthcare personnel can view all the patients’ health status in a centralized user-friendly interface. The interface generates plots with historical trend data, offers customizable alarm thresholds, and alerts staff of abnormal vital signs with visual and auditory alarms in real time. The devices are rechargeable and run for several days, so that newborns can wear them during their entire stay in the hospital. The simple, rugged design is built for the power, cost, and environmental challenges of low-resource facilities, and can be easily sanitized with alcohol wipes for reuse. The out-of-the-box system is not reliant on continuous power or wireless connectivity.Interview with representative [caption id="attachment_19711" align="alignnone" width="300"] Target specifications for Neopenda Vital Signs Monitor. The device is presently in a testing phase but aims to achieve these targets.[/caption]

Product Schematics

Technical Support

The type and frequency of preventative maintenance needed is unknown. Neopenda is working with in-country engineers while refining the prototype to ensure that repairs can be performed on-site. Interview with representative

Replacement Components



The anticipated lifetime is 2 years.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The Neopenda vital signs monitor gives voice to newborns in medical distress and enables responsive medical care in low-resource hospitals. The prototype is rapidly being refined and tested. Technical data is anticipated to be available in the coming months.

Vetted Performance Status

Neopenda is rolling out a pilot in Kampala, Uganda, in 2017 to assess the accuracy of the technology, and preparing for feasibility studies in up to six other facilities in four countries. Interview with representative



Complementary Technical Systems


Academic Research and References


Compliance with regulations

The Neopenda device is enclosed in a case made of FDA compliant medical grade polymer, and uses 100% BPA-free, PCV-free, and phthalate-free materials. It has passed preliminary safety testing for compliance with specified standards of IEC 60601-1 Edition 3.1 (pertaining to medical electrical equipment safety), ISO 80601-2-56 (pertaining to clinical thermometers), and ISO 80601-2-61 (pertaining to pulse oximeter equipment) by a third party in February 2017. Interview with representative

Other Information

Neopenda is currently pursuing opportunities to evaluate the technology with Americares in Liberia and Tanzania. Neopenda was named a finalist in Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Awards 2017. Neopenda is a participant in the 2017 PULSE@MassChallenge digital health lab. Neopenda was awarded first place in the 2016 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project. Neopenda won the Cisco Internet of Everything Challenge at the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition Neopenda was selected to participate in the inaugural class of Relevant Health's health tech startup accelerator program.

Comments from the Community

1 Comment

  1. David Fulford says:

    The protoype models seem to be effective. Further testing should give people confidence in the value of this technology.

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