Malav Sanghavi, an Indian student studying in London has developed the prototype of a low cost baby incubator that has the potential to save many lives across the world.
It is a cardboard incubator called BabyLifeBox. Malav is studying for his innovation Design Engineering (IDE) Master’s dual degree course at Imperial College London and Royal College of Art.
A graduate from the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, he participated in a start-up competition held at St James’ Palace in London and won the 3rd prize for his innovation.
The incubator can be used in developing countries like India which lack adequate grassroots-level infrastructure for neonatal care of premature and underweight infants. It provides basic functions necessary for child’s survival in their first days of life.
The bottom part of the incubator can be given to the parent of the child after birth as a make-shift cot.
According to reports, more than 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of their birth every year in India. And the cause of these deaths are preventable like complications during birth, prematurity and infections. More than half of all Indian women give birth without the help of skilled health care professionals, thereby leading to complications.
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Malav came up with this idea a few years ago after his cousin’s daughter had to be kept alive in an incubator. While she had all the facilities available in a modern Indian city, Malav thought about all those infants who fail to get immediate care in remote villages of India. As of now, he is looking for initial seed funding to expand his team and bring more experts on board, develop minimal viable prototypes and start clinical trials.
He put his idea out at the Pitch@Palace event hosted by Queen Elizabeth II’s younger son, Prince Andrew – the Duke of York. Pitch@Palace supports UK entrepreneurs by connecting them with potential investors. There were about 200 entries this year at the fourth Pitch@Palace event. The theme was Internet of Things and Smart Cities. All start-ups, whose products are aimed at creating a smarter world and empowering people, could participate.
“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,” Malav told PTI.