Rural India is launch-pad for GE's affordable infant warmer

One of the major contributors to death and illness in infants -- hypothermia, a reduction in core body temperature --will be addressed come March 2011, thanks to a partnership between GE Healthcare and voluntary organization, Embrace, which will be launched in India.
The baby warmer has three components: a sleeping bag, a sealed pouch of wax and a heater. The warmer swaddles the baby and a heated pouch of wax is placed in an adjacent compartment in the sleeping bag. The pouch can be heated via an electrical heater. The Embrace Infant Warmer will cost the equivalent of less than US$200.
Nearly 20 million low birth weight (LBW) babies are born each year, mostly in the developing world, and these babies are especially prone to hypothermia due to insufficient fat beneath the skin. The Embrace Infant Warmer is a potential solution to help keep babies warm and address the risks of hypothermia.
Says Mike Barber, Vice President, GE healthymagination. “This partnership with Embrace is an opportunity to further our commitment to maternal-infant care while increasing local access and reducing infant mortality. Along with our partners, we’re addressing the specific needs of the local healthcare environment and helping to solve critical problems.”
Adds Jane Chen, CEO, Embrace. “GE Healthcare brings both expertise and global reach to this partnership, and shares our passion to change the world through technological innovations. Together, we can achieve Embrace's mission to give every child an equal chance for a healthy life.”
Unlike traditional incubators that cost up to $20,000, the Embrace Infant Warmer costs less than 1% of this price, and works without a constant supply of electricity. After its launch in India, it will subsequently scale globally. Embrace was founded by a team of engineers and MBAs from Stanford and Harvard University.
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Dec 18 2010