The purpose is to develop and deploy an Essential infant incubator and phototherapy unit, affordable, functional and adapted to the context of developing countries to help facilitate the access to medical technology where it is most needed.


The GlobalNeoNat project

The essential incubator must be simple and intuitive to use, bearing all the features of a “high-tech” incubator whilst being well adapted to the context of a district hospital in the developing world

  • Resistance to deleterious effects of voltage spikes and ‘unclean’ electricity
  • Thermal Battery to allow the continuous operation of the heating system in spite of electrical black outs and power cuts
  • Resistance to humidity of 98%, temperatures up to 50°C and high levels of dust
  • Low maintenance
  • Quality thermal regulation, maintaining the zone of thermo-neutrality of the newborn
  • Integrated phototherapy unit to treat neonatal jaundice in order to avoid cerebral palsy caused by kernicterus
  • Safe use by untrained staff
  • Largely language-independent, i.e. rely on pictograms
  • Affordable – The aim is to reduce the “Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO), including spare parts, maintenance, repair and user training, by a factor of 10 over a 10 years lifecycle.

These new concepts and solutions will be safely pilot tested in a highly technical and protected environment, e.g. at the EssentialTech laboratory, EPFL and in the Geneva and Lausanne University Hospitals, and in a second phase with partners in Cameroon. Contacts with key opinion leaders have already been established in further developing countries.


Our approach

This project is based on the methodology of the CODEV-EssentialTech program, where technologies are developed with stakeholders involved at each steps of the whole life-cycle of the device.