Inventor James Roberts learned about premature babies dying in Syria due to lack of access to incubators. He responded by inventing a portable, low-cost incubator that zips up smaller than most suitcases. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely and Roberts’ MOM Incubator could help save up to 75% of those infants.
23 year-old design student Roberts did extensive research on the technology used in current incubators in first world countries, as well as assessed the needs and restrictions of developing countries and refugee camps. He designed and developed the MOM Incubator to respond to those needs, and fit the tight parameters regarding cost, power, space, and efficiency.
The MOM Incubator travels in a zippered shell, much like a suitcase, and sets up within minutes. Like most incubators used for preterm infants, the MOM Incubator allows caregivers to control temperature and humidity, and also has a phototherapy unit to treat jaundice. This new low-cost incubator could potentially save thousands of premature babies in less developed countries, where traditional incubators are not always available, due to their expense. Current incubators can cost as much as $45,000, but the MOM Incubator can be manufactured, tested, and delivered to a refugee camp for just $380.
The MOM Incubator is also a huge space saver. Roberts notes that even if a traditional incubator is available, they are huge pieces of equipment and are often used for storage when not needed for neonatal care. His MOM Incubator, on the other hand, collapses and zips into its own case, allowing it to be stored under a table or desk until needed.
Roberts was named the winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award for his life-saving incubator design, and has been lauded by the press worldwide for his innovation. It’s unclear at this time when the Mom Incubators will be available for order, but the company is currently seeking investors to begin production.
Images © MOM Incubators