MOM Wins James Dyson Award to Help Premature Babies in Developing Countries

We love to feature design that has a positive global impact and this invention is certainly noteworthy for the developing world. James Roberts, winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award, designed MOM, the inflatable incubator. His invention has all the functionality of first-world incubators found in neonatal facilities but at a fraction of the cost ($400 vs. $40,000.) It includes a digital screen to monitor temperature and humidity, light therapy for babies with jaundice, and an alarm sensor if temperature/humidity change. The machine can be operated by any power source including a car battery and can be shipped flat anywhere in the world.

Roberts is a 23 year old engineering student from UK’s Loughborough University. He created his vision after learning about the high number of newborn deaths in Syrian refugee camps due to premature birth complications.

“I was watching a Panorama programme on BBC about Syrian refugees, and they had a segment about how there are loads of premature kids dying because of the stresses of war and specifically the lack of incubators out there and the infrastructure to support them,” he recalls during an interview with BBC.

Roberts wanted to solve that problem and thus, MOM was born.

According to the World Health Organization, 15 million babies are born prematurely per year and one million of these preterm babies die due to complications. Incubators help during the high risk phase when regulating temperature and oxygen is crucial for the baby’s survival.

Although the design has already passed feasibility tests, it will still need to undergo medical testing before use in the field. According to MOM’s website, this machine complies with British incubation standards including providing a stable heat environment, humidification, and phototherapy unit. Roberts plans to use the $45,000 prize money he won from the James Dyson Award to further develop the invention.

Congratulations, James Robert and to the James Dyson Foundation for discovering this brilliant idea.

Invention: MOM, an inflatable low-cost incubator for premature babies
Inventors: James Robert
Capability: Inflatable incubator designed for developing world.
Recent Successes: Patent-pending and 2014 James Dyson Award for innovation in design solving a problem. Major news coverage and features.


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