Did you know one out of every ten infants in the world is born prematurely? Sadly, one million preemies and underweight babies pass away each year because they do not have enough body fat to regulate their own temperature. Embrace CEO Jane Chen wanted to change that after earning her MBA in 2008. She says, “Every child deserves the opportunity to live, to grow, to dream.” This guiding principle was the center of her brilliant project for Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Design class.
Chen and her genius team created an affordable incubator that offered a cost-efficient way to keep premature infants warm. The inspiration came from the idea of a small sleeping bag that heats up to regulate an infant’s body temperature. Now Embrace Innovations, born out of the Center for Social Innovation, has saved thousands of premature babies.
The Gut-Wrenching Truth
Unfortunately, there are 15 million underweight and preterm babies born around the globe every year. Most of them are in developing countries or remote areas where access to electricity – or even a hospital – is difficult. Regulating the body temperature of a preemie is crucial to his or her survival. Nevertheless, how can that possibly be done without an incubator, which can cost thousands of dollars and requires power?
The Solution: Embrace Infant Warmer
Embrace Innovations’ infant warmer functions without electricity and costs less than 1% of the price of a traditional incubator! According to Stanford Business, “The Embrace infant warmer looks like a sleeping bag and contains a pouch with a phase-change material resembling wax that keeps the temperature at a constant 37 degrees centigrade. (It can also hook up to an electric heater.) The cost is $25 to $100.”
As mentioned earlier, the original idea for the infant warmer came out of a class which CEO Jane Chen and Embrace Innovations co-founders took at Stanford Business School. It has emerged into an enterprise that has helped over 250,000 infant babies all over twenty countries. Chen envisions an even greater impact in the years ahead. Her objective is to save one million infants around the globe!
Watch Jane Chen’s video and get inspired to create your own innovation and make the world a better place: