- In-home use
- Rural clinics
- Operates where electricity is not available or reliable
- Requires only a kettle of water heated by fire or gas stove
- Maintains near-constant temperature for several hours
- Includes built-in temperature indicator and pictorial-based instructions
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) have developed a portable infant warmer for use in areas where incubators are impractical due to cost or unreliable electricity sources.
Unlike competitors, the Berkeley Lab / ITT infant warmer does not require any access to electricity. Its USDA-approved biosafe phase change material (PCM) is hot water-heated with the amount of water typically found in a kettle. A customized, insulated flask used to heat the PCM keeps the water hot and protects users from burns. The PCM, which absorbs heat from the water and maintains a constant temperature for several hours, is sealed inside an FDA-approved polymer material and evenly distributed throughout a flat mat.
Hypothermia is among the leading cause of death in premature and low birth weight babies, many of which are born in the developing world. By relying on a small volume of water heated on a stove or over a fire rather than electricity, the Berkeley Lab / ITT infant warmer can improve the odds for at-risk infants in rural areas by helping to regulate their body temperature to avoid hypothermia.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: A prototype mat has passed 100% of safety and durability tests designed in conjunction with clinicians in three countries.
STATUS: Issued U. S. Patent D773681. Available for licensing.
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2015-177