Improving the survival rate of millions of premature and low birth weight babies.
Premature infants have a difficult time regulating their body temperature so warmth from an electric warmer is crucial in order to fend off hypothermia. However, in the last mile, where electricity is not readily available, electric heat warmers are of no use. These warmers need alternative sources of heat to do their job.
ITT's portable infant warmer requires zero electricity. It heats up using only the water found in a standard sized kettle or pot that can be brought to a boil over a fire.
Our solution: an infant warmer run without electricity.
The warmer's USDA-approved biosafe phase change material (PCM) is hot water-heated with the amount of water typically found in a kettle. A customized, insulated flask used to heat the PCM keeps the water hot and protects users from burns. The PCM, which absorbs heat from the water and maintains a constant temperature for several hours, is sealed inside an FDA-approved polymer material and evenly distributed throughout a flat mat. This technology was developed in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
ITT partnered with Harvard Medical School, Rwinkwavu District Hospital, Partners in Health and other leading medical institutes to test the efficacy of the infant warmer at neonatal wards in Rwanda. The study analyzed 102 uses of the product and performed well on all counts.