Every year over four million infants in the developing world die within a month of birth. Half of these newborns would survive if given a warm and clean environment in which to grow stronger. In developing countries, not only is there limited access to modern, high-tech incubators, but a lack of infrastructure and replacement parts render such devices worthless.

Our goal is to develop a newborn incubator for the developing world that takes advantage of locally-available replacement parts, the familiar mechanical language of automobile design, and globe-spanning auto-industry supply chains to create a context-appropriate product that can be locally maintained.

 Active in the development of newborn care technology for the poor since 2004, Design that Matters (DtM) has had the great fortune of working with a huge crowd of talented students, professional volunteers and domain experts in the development of Neonurture, the Car Parts Incubator. Partners in our infant incubator work have included Medicine Mondiale in New Zealand and the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies (CIMIT) in Boston. The project has benefitted from the design insights and clinical expertise of health care experts at Children's Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in Boston, as well as from first-hand observations and interviews with newborn health experts and caregivers in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The design of Neonurture is based on concepts and prototypes developed by a collaboration with faculty and student volunteers at MIT, the Rhode Island School of Design, Stanford University and the Arizona State University, and from the input of professional volunteers at IDEO and Boston-area contract engineering and design firms. The alpha prototype was built by RISD graduates Tom Weis, Mike Hahn and Adam Geremia, and the beta prototype was built by Tom Weis, Emily Rothschild, Huy Vu, Paul Sherwood-Berndt and Mike Donelly.


In The News

Time Magazine The 50 Best Inventions of 2010: NeoNurture Incubator.

NeoNuture Incubator



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