NeMo empowers mothers to accurately and frequently monitor newborns to identify signs of severe illness and facilitate early referral of sick neonates.
NeMo offers a low-cost, scalable, wearable device that empowers mothers and families living in rural areas to accurately and frequently monitor the vital signs of newborns at home. NeMo also provides a pre-programmed smartphone to help mothers identify and assess danger signs. The pilot project has been conducted in Uganda where mothers have been trained by Village Health Teams (VHTs) on how to use the device.
The team member Ailon Haileyesus, graduated in biomedical engineering, has told ALTIS about their project and why she thinks it has a significant social impact.
Two years ago, our team conducted early ethnographic research in Bangladesh revealing that there is a delay in identification of neonatal illness during the first week of life due to a shortage of village health teams (VHTs) capable of monitoring neonates using established WHO guidelines, which relies on assessment of the newborn vital signs and activity level. In light of the above, the interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health and Medicine, and field partners Makerere University in Uganda, have decided to develop an evidence-based NeMo system to guide mothers to identify signs of illness in their neonates.
In Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Kenya, and Uganda we have interacted with over 100 mothers, 200 key opinion leaders informing us of design decisions. For the wearable technology, preliminary verification has been conducted on commercial-grade flex and temperature sensors to measure respiratory rate and temperature from a newborn's abdomen. Initial studies were conducted to determine accuracy of the sensors with newborn simulators and with newborns at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Nursery. Concurrently, our team is developing low-cost sensors with a concept thoroughly validated and well-received by many experts. Our efforts have led us to procure a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seed Grant of $100,000 to help us in developing our product.
GSVC provides an outlet for our social venture to be on a global stage. We hope to gain more traction in our project by interacting with key experts in the global health realm who have a significant amount of knowledge in starting and growing a social venture from grassroots. This competition fosters an atmosphere of inspiration while bringing like minds together to mutually share our passions to create social impact. This will give us the capacity to move our project further in the development stage to get our product to market in the coming months. We are excited to be exposed to some of the most accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs in the social impact space while imparting our enthusiasm and motivation of assisting mothers worldwide in the area of neonatal health.
GSVC gave them even more: NeMo won the 2nd prize at the Global Finals 2018, amounting to US$25,000.
Watch the interview to the team after the Award Ceremony