How can Makers help the world?

A very inspiring talk by Jane Chen CEO of Embrace Innovations

Every year, 3 million premature babies die in the first 28 days. Mostly because of undercooling.
Incubators, which hold the temperatures of babies constant, are expensive and cost 20’000$ upwards. They need a constant power supply. They are complicate to operate and to maintain.

The idea was born at a Stanford event, which was about low cost technologies , for people of one dollar or less income per day. How can a low-cost incubator be built, that cost 1 percent of a standard device?

How can the device be built that functions without constant power supply and which is super intuitive to use – useable by every mother.

They developed  a sleeping bag with a phase-change-material. While the phase-change happens, the temperature is constant. A wax material was used, that melts at human body temperature.
They went to India with the first prototypes and made different iterations based on the feedback of the people. At the end it was a sleeping bag of one type of sterilizable fabric with a transparent viewing window on the front.

Additional they had a temperature display on it, but the people didn’t trust the digital scale, so they made a simpler display with yellow smilies for good, blue for too cold and red for too hot – another iterations based on the empathy with the mothers  which were  the endusers.

After thousands of tests the “Embrace warmer” was born and released in 2011. A waterproof bag with an inlet with wax filling, which can be melted with boiling water or electricity. It holds the exact same temperature for up to 8 hours and it can be reheated thousands of times.

On the way to the product release they had a lot of obstacles, everything went wrong:  Entrepreneurship is all about doing whatever it takes to pass obstacles to reach the end goal !

“When you truly believe something, the universe will conspire to help you achieve it – Paulo Coehlo”

Until Oktober 2016 they helped over 200’000 babies in 20 countries !

More ideas and products followed and are mentioned in the talk  –  a must see.

This talk was very inspiring to me and made me think a lot about meaningful work and projects.

Other  interesting talks for makers and enthusiast can be found at  “Stanfords Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders” Series: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/ ( copies at YouTube ) .



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