Every year 20 million premature or low-birth-weight children are born, many of them in rural areas of developing countries where they have no hope of receiving the medical care they need to survive. Enter Stanford's Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, a two-quarter course, co-taught by the Business School's Jim Patell in which graduate students across the University look for practical solutions to the problems of the global poor. One of its promising products is the Embrace, an inexpensive ($25 estimated) portable incubator designed to resemble a sleeping bag and heated by a material that keeps bag and baby at a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees for four hours without electricity.
The Embrace organization is itself in the incubation stage. The four-student team came up with the idea and developed it in class in 2007. Last June, two of the original team members, Jane Chen, MBA '08, and Rahul Panciker, PhD '08, Engineering, won an Echoing Green Fellowship, which provides seed funding for the project of up to $90,000 over two years. The organization has since received nonprofit status, the incubator and its heating system has a provisional patent, and Chen and Panicker are now in India conducting clinical tests of the Embrace. If all goes well, they will return to India later this year to test it in a community setting. See EmbraceGlobal.org.
Source: Stanford Business