Essential neonatal care for newborns

A smart infant incubator that monitors and regulates a newborn's core temperature. Unlike other incubators, it is small, robust, and functions autonomously during power outages.



Discarded incubators and other medical equipment in Malawi.

Every year, 2.6 million newborns (children aged 1-28 days) die in the world, with Sub-Sahara African countries accounting for 42% of these deaths. 60-80% of newborns in this region suffer from hypothermia, which largely contributes to increased mortality in addition to infection and asphyxia.

On top of these stark statistics about infant mortality due to hypothermia comes another: 70% of medical equipment donated to low- and middle-income countries is never put into commission. This is because they are not adapted to the climate and socio-economic context of low- and middle-income countries.

Reasons include:

  • High cost of ownership
  • Unstable electricity
  • The harsher environment (humidity, high temperature and dust)
  • Lack of resources, staff and training
  • Lack of logistics and parts for maintenance

Our Solution

GNN incubator concept model co-designed by EPFL and ECAL/Fabien Roy. © Noé Cotter

We’ve designed an innovative, patented solution adapted to the context and intend to bring it to market through a social business start-up. It is:

  • Low-cost
  • High-quality with thermal regulation, maintaining the zone of thermo-neutrality of the newborn
  • Equipped with a thermal battery (EPFL patent) that can operate up to 4 hours without electricity
  • Resists humidity of 98% and temperatures up to 50°C with adapted electronics and a robust casing
  • User-friendly to operate and easy to maintain
  • Mobile for infant transport
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