Jane Chen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Embrace Innovations. She has a long track record of working in various NGOs and Foundations, and currently sits on the Board of the Center for Humane Technology. She holds an MPA from Harvard as well as an MBA from Stanford, where she also currently teaches Design Thinking & leadership at the Stanford and SAP Academy of Engineering.
What is the Challenge?
Over the last 100 years, the baby incubator has been one of the most influential contributions to the decline in infant mortality rate. And yet, today, a baby dies needlessly every ten seconds.
One of the biggest problems these babies face is regulating their body temperatures—which isthe primary function of an incubator. But incubators are technically complex, expensive (costing $20K or more), and require a stable supply of electricity - making them prohibitive in remote parts of the world. Traditional incubators often do not work in the world’s least advantaged vulnerable communities, and the closest substitutes – open fireplaces – are medically inefficient.
What is the Solution?
Embrace has developed a lifesaving MedTech solution for babies right after birth. The core technology of the Embrace incubator is a phase-change-material, a wax-like substance, which when melted, can maintain a constant temperature for up to eight hours at a stretch, ensuring that babies have sufficient warmth after birth.
This wax pouch can be reheated thousands of times. It is then placed into a sleeping bag, where it creates a warm micro-environment for the baby. The Embrace incubator costs ~1% of a traditional incubator used in hospitals and is estimated to have saved over 300,000 babies. At the same time, and more so than even traditional incubators, it enables the parents to be close to their child right after birth.