More than 10 percent of babies worldwide are born prematurely, often requiring costly time spent in an incubator. According to the World Health Organization, 75 percent of deaths resulting from premature birth could be avoided if inexpensive treatments were more readily available across the globe. The 2014 international James Dyson Award winner attempts to solve this problem with a low cost, inflatable incubator for use in the developing world.
The device, called MOM, was created by James Roberts, a recent graduate from Loughborough University in the UK. It costs just $400 to manufacture, can collapse for easy transportation, and runs off a battery that can last for 24 hours, in case of power outages. The incubator is blown up manually and heated using ceramic heating elements. A screen shows the current temperature and the humidity which can be custom set, depending on the gestation age. An alarm will sound if the desired temperature changes. And for babies that suffer from Jaundice there is a phototherapy unit.
The $45,000 award is given by the James Dyson Foundation, Chicago, IL, to recognize “designers who think differently to create products that work better.” Loughborough University will also receive $15,000.