$25 baby incubator for premature newborns in poor places


17 Responses to “$25 baby incubator for premature newborns in poor places”

  1. SamSam says:

    I’m guessing that Antonious was judging from the still in the video, as I was at first, that can lead one to foolishly jumping to the conclusion that the baby gets wrapped in boiled cloth. Fortunately I clicked on the actual link before making any comment.

    It seems surprising that this wasn’t invented long ago, but I guess it’s all that phase-change stuff. Is it similar to those reusable hand-warmers I have that you drop into boiling water to make them liquid again?

  2. WalterBillington says:

    Embrace: Super-fantastic if you can do this. Niggling worries about handling procedures, wear and tear, uninformed nurses / birth assistants. But recognition that in the presence of newborns people try very hard not to fup. Good on you, and good luck.

  3. scionofgrace says:

    @ahoj: I know what you mean. My mom was a preemie in the 50s and suffered permanent vision damage thanks to the brand-new fluorescent lights being used in hospitals at the time. Reading about modern preemie rooms being low-lit and quiet elicited quite the facepalm.

    This is great. Anytime medicine can be made inexpensive is a good thing.

  4. Bionicrat2 says:

    I think this could really help me out at work. Now I stop my meatball sub from getting cold before I can eat it!

  5. yannish says:

    @Embrace, best of luck, you are doing gods work!

    @ahoj, I had to chuckle, but its not a bake oven, the lights are used as a source of heat, rather than light. The babies aren’t bombarded with light to warm them up. The heat shed as a result of heating the filament is used in this instance. Think of how hot a halogen light gets…
    Your right, I imagine that such an intense light source would be damaging.

  6. jerwin says:

    I’m not sure that fluorescent lights were to be blame. Certainly high levels of oxygen were I wasn’t a “premie” but I did spend a month in an incubator in the mid 70s.

  7. Day Vexx says:

    Or, keep your $25, and enjoy a piping hot boiled baby!

  8. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Urgh. One of the most common patient injuries in hospitals comes from homemade heating pads. Nurses heat moist towels or blue pads in the microwave and apply them to patients, usually to prep for an IV. It’s very hard to judge the heat level and burns are quite common. I hate to see ‘baby’ and ‘boiling water’ in the same invention.

  9. InsertFingerHere says:

    Reminds me of this.


    Snip: History Detectives learns about the forgotten doctor who brought life saving incubator technology to the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

  10. Xeni Jardin says:

    Antinous, wow, right. So, I believe that the Stanford design team behind this consulted with medical professionals in the design of the device. Looks like it involves various layers of protective insulation. I am not a nurse, but it sounds like this is several steps removed from microwaving wet towels and wrapping them around vulnerable newborns.

  11. yannish says:

    I think this is not for rural areas of the developed world, but for much of the undeveloped world. last year an incubator was created by using auto headlights for warmth for less than $1000.


  12. Anonymous says:

    What ever happened to holding babies next to your skin under a blanket? Word is that babies prefer it too.

  13. ophmarketing says:

    They should have just picked up one of those baby roasters Sears was selling on their Web site yesterday.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Antonious et al.

    The incubator thermoregulates by using a phase-change material to constantly maintain the proper temperature for incubation. They have worked hard to remove any guesswork and risk from the process, it’s not a “homemade heating pad” by any stretch.

    Check out their website here: http://embraceglobal.org/

    I met these guys and gals at a seminar recently, these are smart students, working hard with very little investment to get their product up and running and through the proper trials (FDA, etc).


  15. Embrace says:

    Hi all, thanks for the comments! The Embrace team is going to great lengths to engineer the heating material so that it cannot go above a certain temperature. Antinous, ask us if you’re interested for more information. =)

    Check out embraceglobal.org for more information, or our Facebook page for the latest updates! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Embrace-Global/237351325248?ref=ts

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Hey Embrace guys, would you please contact me by email? xeni at boingboing dot net. I’m involved in a nonprofit that does work in Guatemala, Benin, India, and other locales, and some of the (extremely poor) indigenous communities we serve could seriously use this. I’d love to obtain a few of these to bring to Guatemala on an upcoming trip this fall.

  16. Ahoj says:

    As someone who was born 2 months premature in the early 80s this looks pretty awesome.

    much better than the auto headlight “preemie” bake oven. The thing that I have found distressing in my life from this is that when I was born there was little to no understanding on the problems of sensory overload in children born early. Bombarding the child with a giant light will most likely result in abnormal child development. I can say that I often have problems with sensory overload in my adult life that I have often wondered if it was due to lack of sensory deprivation in the incubator after I was born.

    one of these days I’ll offer myself up for a CAT scan for researchers to see what developmental effects my premature birth had.

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