NeoNurture: The "Car Parts" Incubator


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Every year over four million infants in the developing world die within a month of birth. Half of these newborns would survive if given a warm and clean environment in which to grow stronger. In developing countries, not only is there limited access to modern, high-tech incubators, but a lack of infrastructure and replacement parts render such devices worthless.

Design that Matters' goal is to develop a newborn incubator for the developing world that takes advantage of locally-available automobile parts, the familiar mechanical language of automobile design, and globe-spanning auto-industry supply chains to create a context-appropriate product that can be locally maintained.

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  • PARTS: AVAILABILITY VS COST -- 1987 auto ventilator assembly is $500, fan alone is $80 BUT robust, global distribution -- computer fan is >$2 BUT fragile, local availability? PARTS -- safety: rated or evaluated for new use? “warranty not applicable for use out of context” -- performance: lightbulb is optimized for LIGHT, not heat. -- lifespan: battery cycles (car vs incubator), product life in general LOCAL MAINTENANCE: -- local maintenance isn’t a cure-all: what if our entrepreneurial fixers use the wrong parts? -- can we make the controller display codes like a photocopier (see cartoon printed inside for troubleshooting)
  • Medical device supply chain (incubator as example). -- Lots of links in the supply chain can say "no," no single group can say yes. In other words, individual stakeholders are necessary but not sufficient.   Who will choose, use, pay the dues, approve? (student presentations will provide more detail) -- Public vs private health care -- "BOP" and "emerging markets" typically translates as products for the middle- and upper-class >> very high-end private NICUs in every country visited >> western device mfgs target high margin products like MRI scanners, no incentive to compete with cheap Chinese mfg on the low-margin stuff
  • NeoNurture: The "Car Parts" Incubator

    1. 1. Incubator Project Overview NeoNurture: the "Car Parts" Incubator Project Overview
    2. 2. Donated incubator from Japan in Kathmandu, Nepal. Expensive to operate, difficult to maintain.
    3. 3. Neonatal intensive care unit in Kathmandu, Nepal. All of these infants belong in incubators.
    4. 4. Low-birthweight, at-risk newborn in Burmese refugee camp. Only bubblewrap for insulation. (photo from CIMIT)
    5. 5. Rural doctor and his assistant in Nepal, the community health care resource. How do we make their jobs easier?
    6. 6. Donated incubators in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many different models.
    7. 7. Donated incubators in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many different models.
    8. 8. Donated incubator in Kathmandu, Nepal. Unused because no one in the hospital speaks French.
    9. 9. Low-cost Indian incubator. “We refuse to purchase these.” Dr. Paul, Head of Pediatrics, All India Inst. of Medical Sciences
    10. 10. Donated incubator in Kathmandu, Nepal. They can’t afford to throw this away.
    11. 11. What gets fixed? Auto mechanics on the Jalal Singsah Mata in Meulaboh, Indonesia
    12. 12. What doesn’t get fixed? Broken incubators in Kathmandu. Repair parts aren’t available in Nepal.
    13. 13. Broken incubators in Kathmandu. Repair parts aren’t available in Nepal.
    14. 14. Broken incubators in Kathmandu. Repair parts aren’t available in Nepal.
    15. 15. NEED DtM’s product “point-of-view.” This defines our user, the context, and the need we will address. Doctors and nurses at “good” regional clinics in developing countries a locally-serviceable isolette to assist in thermoregulation for low birthweight (LBW) infants of 32 weeks or greater gestational age.
    16. 16. DtM and IDEO volunteers conducting product research with Dr. Mandy Belfort at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Boston.
    17. 17. DtM Fellow Matt Eckelman conducting product research at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu.
    18. 18. Stanford PhD student Alex Butterwick and IDEO volunteer Colleen Cotter conducting product research in Nepal.
    19. 19. Field Data Synthesis: organizing observations and insights in Bangladesh
    20. 20. Stakeholder Map: describe the supply chain, identify who must “choose, use, pay the dues,” understand their incentives
    21. 21. Incubator Mind Map: cartoon summary of the functions of an incubator
    22. 22. Early DtM incubator concept sketches.
    23. 23. Early DtM incubator concept sketches.
    24. 24. Early incubator mockups.
    25. 25. Stanford students Linus Liang, Razmig Hovaghimian and Rahul Panicker with the Embrace prototype.
    26. 26. The Stanford “Stacks” incubator prototype.
    27. 27. Stanford students Eric Bennett, Leslie Oestreicher, Yuval Grill and Nag Murty with the Liferaft prototype.
    28. 28. RISD industrial design student Mike Hahn with the MIT-RISD Neo-Nurture incubator prototype.
    29. 29. RISD industrial design students Adam Geremia and Tom Weis with the first DtM “looks like” prototype.
    30. 30. Early 2008 DtM Incubator prototype, demonstrating clinical access and transportation.
    31. 31. November 2009 DtM Incubator prototype, demonstrating clinical access and transportation.