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A cool way to start life

MiraCradle ®, a cooling device for treating babies suffering from birth asphyxia at 1/7th the cost of present solutions in market

Photo of Tanya Agarwal
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In no more than 3 sentences, please tell us who your idea is designed for and how it reimagines the new life experience.

Inability to provide treatment to birth Asphyxia affected babies within first few hours costs their lives. This inspires us to make a portable version of MiraCradle® which will be a kind of first aid till they reach the treatment facilities. The target is to build a device which can induce hypothermia and act as an infant warmer too.

Pluss was never into healthcare business. We started with the aim of sustainability and energy conservation. When we received the call from Dr. Niranjan asking for a solution to cool babies, suffering from Asphyxia, we were clueless if this is also something Phase Change Materials (PCM) were capable of. Unaware of such an application, we devoted a team of researchers for development of the PCM and later a team of designers for creating a device. It took Pluss 1.5 years to develop their hands with making a medical device. Right from design of cradle to development of PCM with the right set of properties and a suitable mattress for comfort of babies, the product went through several iterations before it was ready for market. This was however not the end. Product acceptability was another challenge. Just because it costs less, sound utterly simple and feels like a mattress made people hard to believe it could treat babies.

When first tried on a baby, which was always otherwise a simulated system, we crossed fingers; it was now the question of a life and any engineering defect means a life which we won’t be able to give back. Guess what, we saved a life which range in thousands this date. Never in business was a moment as big as this! The feeling of joy on the face of that mother is still a priceless memory we would cherish every time we see a baby surviving because MiraCradle® is taking care!

After the successful launch of MiraCradle®, we discovered that there is need for step 2.  Birth Asphyxia babies should reach the medical facilities within 6 hours of birth and sometimes this transportation lag costs a life. We then brainstormed and found that a portable version of MiraCradle® could be a solution to the problem.  Further thought suggested that while being a neonatal cooler, the same device can also work as warmer for the non-Asphyxiated babies and therefore could serve as a multipurpose device.  Babies are cooled only if they suffer from Asphyxia, usually they need to be warmed. We aim to make a device containing the units which could be charged with facilities available almost everywhere.

We are skilled at designing PCM’s so that one jacket could be the used for cooling and also for warming, we have designs ready, the next step being able to take these jackets to the hospitals already using MiraCradle® and testing its suitability.

At what stage is your idea?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We plan to make a jacket serving as a thermoregulation unit (hypothermia and hyperthermia unit) and test it among our network within the vicinity of the research lab at Bawal, Haryana, India. These would include organization providing ambulance services/hospitals and taking their feedback on the condition of the baby when they reached treatment facilities cooled with portable MiraCradle® opposed to when they weren’t cooled.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We are looking for OpenIDEO team to help us reach to a wider community and help us connect to the designers whose input on the product would help us further refine it and hospitals in need for such facilities.

Tell us about your work experience:

We are an experienced team in the field of design and development of phase change materials (PCM) for various applications. We have our reach in healthcare, logistics, supply chain and consumer goods industries.

This idea emerged from...

  • A group brainstorm

Are you an expecting, new, or experienced mom?

  • no

Are you a healthcare practitioner?

  • no

Are you a current employee of UCB Pharmaceuticals or Sutter Health?

  • no


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