Indian student designs cardboard baby incubator in UK

LONDON :  An Indian student has developed a low-cost cardboard baby incubator that that could help save millions of lives in countries like India which lack grassroots-level infrastructure for neonatal care of premature and underweight infants.
Malav Sanghavi, studying for his Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) Master’s dual degree course at Imperial College London and Royal College of Art, won third prize for his BabyLifeBox in a start-up competition held at St James’ Palace in London.
“BabyLifeBox is a low-cost baby incubator that provides basic neonatal care at grassroots-level. India has highest number of babies dying within the first 24 hours of their birth in the world, more than 300,000 a year,” Sanghavi said.
“According to our initial research, we found that India’s healthcare service has facilities to deal with a standard birth at sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres but it lacks infrastructure for neonatal care of premature and underweight infants,” explained Sanghavi, a graduate from the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad.
The idea for the innovation was born when his cousin’s daughter had to be kept alive in an incubator a few years ago.
“This was crucial for her survival and we were lucky to have these facilities as we were from developed city of India,” Sanghavi said.
“This got me thinking what happens to the infants who need intimidate care after birth in a remote village somewhere in India. I started looking into some facts and found, according to WHO, 99 per cent new-born deaths occur in middle and low income countries,” he said.
“We are looking for initial seed funding so that we can expand our team, bring more experts on board and develop minimal viable prototypes and start user testing and clinical trials by mid-next year,” Sanghavi said following the Pitch@Palace event hosted by Queen Elizabeth II’s younger son, Prince Andrew – the Duke of York, this week.
Pitch@Palace aims to support UK entrepreneurs by connecting them with potential supporters and investors and had received nearly 200 entries this year. The winning entry involved a 3D printed knitwear start-up.
Sanghavi built his prototype on a small grant of just 500 pounds from Imperial College London’s Hackspace programme but is now looking to roll it out on a mass scale through collaborations with organisations like WHO, UNICEF, the Red Cross and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (PTI)


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