New Inflatable Incubator Can Save Lives

New Inflatable Incubator Can Save Lives

By Shinji Tutoru

LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY, LEICESTERSHIRE, UK. Every year, about 15 million babies are born prematurely and more than 1 million do not make it because of complications from preterm birth. Countries with small resources soon may be able to afford this new incubator, which can save lives. Economically designed, the inflatable incubator  is called “MOM”.

According to the inventor, he noticed there were an outstanding number of premature children dying in a documentary about Syrian refugees on a Panorama program on BBC. One of the issues that inspired him was the need for incubators in the area. After doing some research, he found that the equipment was quite expensive. While a state-of-the-art incubator costs up to $45,000, “MOM” would only cost $400 to produce and to ship.

The inventor of this equipment is led by James Roberts, a graduate of Loughborough University. To use the incubator, the first step is inflating it by blowing in air which can be done manually. The temperature and humidity can be monitored through a screen. If there are any adjustments in the temperature, the equipped alarm will set off. It can also be custom-set depending on the development of the infant. A phototherapy unit is also available for babies who suffer from jaundice.

When it comes to shipping, large spaces won’t be needed as it will be disassembled and sent in parts. Power outages may not be a problem either, as the device also comes with a battery, which can last up to 24 hours.

James Roberts and his team won the $45,000 James Dyson award with this invention. They are planning to use the prize for further studies and developments for the incubator to be as dependable as possible.


Invention New Low-Cost Inflatable Incubator That Can Save Lives
Organization Loughborough University
Researcher James Roberts & Team
Field(s) Medicine, Pediatrics
Further Information

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