Malav Sanghavi, an Indian student studying in London, has developed a low cost prototype of a baby incubator that could help save millions of lives, especially in rural India.
This incubator, called BabyLifeBox, is made out of cardboard with its bottom part can be given to the parent of the child after birth as a make-shift cot.
The invention is a boon for countries like India which is ill-equipped at the grass-root level for neonatal care of premature and underweight infants.
The baby incubator was created for a start-up competition which was held at St. James Palace of London. His invention bagged the third prize.
“BabyLifeBox is a low-cost baby incubator that provides basic neonatal care at grassroots-level. India has highest number of babies dying within the first 24 hours of their birth in the world, more than 300,000 a year,” Sanghavi said.
One of the biggest problems that newborn babies face is hypothermia, as they are not able to regulate their own body temperature, and therefore cannot stay warm. This leads to millions of babies die each year.
Many of these babies could be saved with an incubator, but traditional incubators are expensive and not available, nor appropriate, for rural areas that don’t have access to electricity. The idea for such an incubator came to his mind when his cousin’s daughter was born and had to be kept alive in an incubator. Malav has put his idea forward at the Pitch@Palace event which was hosted by Queen Elizabeth II’s younger son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
“Pitching in front of so many important people at St James’s Palace was nerve-racking, but I was confident in my idea, and I’m really happy that the audience recognised its promise. This has given the whole team the boost we need to move forward,” he said. Prior to Pitch@Palace, Malav received a £500 grant from Imperial College Advance Hackspace to help him develop the prototype of his product. Pitch@Palace is an initiative which aims to support entrepreneurs by connecting them with potential supporters and investors. Malav is now looking for some initial seed funding to help expand his team.