Infant Warmer Reduces Infant Mortality in Rwanda Hospitals



A study by Professor Ashok Gadgil and LBNL Research Scientist Vi Rapp has been accepted in The Lancet - eClinicalMedicine. The study examines the use of the non-electric Infant Warmer (IW), a low-cost and reusable wraparound pad that helps prevent infant hypothermia in areas where skin-to-skin contact between a mother and newborn is inadequate or unfeasible. Both Gadgil and Rapp led the engineering side of the IW design, implementation, and testing. 

Use of the Infant Warmer led to a significant drop in infant mortality from 2.8% to 0.9% in Rwanda hospitals, during the field trials led by Harvard Medical School. Patents for the device are with LBNL and UC Berkeley. 

The Infant Warmer has already garnered recognition for its impact, including an honorable mention in the 2020 Patents for Humanity awards. The device is also being licensed to Global Newborn Solutions™, a non-profit with plans to scale the technology in Africa.