Design that Matters (DtM), a non-profit with the goal of developing medical devices to help combat pneumonia, jaundice, and hypothermia, is in the process of developing the Otter, a low-cost warming bassinet for newborns. The device is conceived as an alternative to complex and expensive incubators that are not always available in healthcare facilities in developing countries.
Unfortunately, a lack of appropriate medical facilities in developing countries contributes to the death of four million children each year, who die within a month of birth because of complications associated with prematurity, infections, and low birth weights. Simply providing a warm and clean environment for all newborns could significantly reduce this number. However, conventional incubators for newborns are complicated to run, difficult to keep clean, and expensive. This means that they are often in short supply or absent in low-resource settings.
This problem has inspired DtM to create the Otter, designed as an inexpensive warming bassinet to help prevent hypothermia in low birth weight and premature newborns. The device does not contain the edges and crevices of a conventional incubator, and so is easily cleaned with an alcohol wipe. The bassinet provides steady warming at body temperature, and will fit one newborn, eliminating the risk of cross infection between babies.
The Otter is currently in the testing phase and DtM have begun user validation studies in Vietnam and have also sent prototype units to Haiti.
Please see details of the Otter design process and user validation studies in the following video:
Project info page: Otter Newborn Warmer…