25 May 2022

Accessible neonatal incubator achieves first clinical use

A new, neonatal incubator saw its first ever clinical use in a UK hospital earlier this month. Created by James Roberts, founder and CEO of MOM, and his team, this innovative accessible incubator helped to sustain a premature baby at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.

One in 10 babies born around the world are premature, and one million of them die every year. Three-quarters of these deaths are easily preventable through access to simple intervention such as thermoregulation, or consistent warmth.

Yet, only a small minority of premature babies have access to conventional incubators, which are regularly inoperable or discarded due to a lack of servicing and spare parts. This leads to ‘equipment graveyards’ in many parts of the world.

This is what inspired the creation of the MOM incubator, an alternative to conventional incubators that is cost-effective, compact and easy to maintain. Now, after support from UKRI, the early design of 2014 has progressed into a life-saving device, which has been successfully deployed in a clinical setting for the very first time.

MOM not only saves lives in challenging, low and middle income settings, but a more flexible option for neonatal care in the UK and the developed world.

Neonatal care

Peter Reynolds, Consultant Neonatologist at St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey stated: “I am delighted that we have successfully recruited the first few babies into the MOM incubator clinical trial at St. Peter’s Hospital. 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.”