An innovative new neonatal incubator designed, developed and manufactured in Britain has been used for the first time in a clinical setting in the UK,helping to sustain a premature baby at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.
Globally, about ten per cent of babies are born prematurely and one million die each year. Access to consistent warmth could prevent as many as three-quarters of these deaths, but only a small minority of premature babies have access to conventional incubators, which are often inoperable due to a lack of servicing and spare parts.
James Roberts, founder and CEO of mOm, designed the mOm incubator as a low-cost, compact, lightweight, easy-to-maintain alternative to conventional incubators. In 2014, his prototype won the James Dyson Award and two years later, mOm Incubators became the first ever impact investment made by Holly Branson, chief purpose and vision officer at Virgin. The development of the incubator was facilitated by Cambridge-based product engineering design and development specialist eg technology.
‘Sustaining a child’s life in our incubator for the first time has been a humbling experience and a monumental step in transforming this dream into a practical reality,’ Roberts said. ‘It is unacceptable that one million premature babies die each year, when most of these deaths can be easily prevented. An idea that was once scribbled down on paper now has the potential to impact many lives globally.’
‘I am delighted that we have successfully recruited the first few babies into the mOm incubator clinical trial at St Peter’s Hospital,’ said Peter Reynolds, consultant neonatologist at St Peter’s. ‘I am very grateful to their parents who agreed to their participation. Keeping babies warm is a fundamental part of good neonatal care and we are pleased to be leading this evaluation of the new mOm incubator.’