BEMPU is a temperature monitoring wristband for newborn babies. The wristband intuitively alerts a parent if the baby’s temperature drops and the baby becomes hypothermic. Compared to current standards of care, the device reliably prevents hypothermia and its complications, and it promotes kangaroo mother care (skin-to-skin care) in low-resource clinics and homes.
Once an infant starts becoming hypothermic, the body conserves heat by restricting the blood flow to the arms and legs. This causes the limbs to become significantly colder which BEMPU uses as an early detection sign of hypothermia. The intuitive device alerts the mother so she can swaddle the baby or perform kangaroo care, which in itself would prevent further hypothermia.
Multiple alarms signal that the infant is unable to stay warm. This is significant information as it can imply a possible underlying infection and the mother can alert a nurse if in a clinic, or seek skilled care if at home in time.
The device features seamless and continuous care. As it requires no training to use, it is ideal for implementation by uneducated parents as the alert system is clear. Requiring no external power supply, the system can easily be used in an home environment or clinic for up to four full weeks after activation. BEMPU can fit all size babies and promotes swaddling, a proven health intervention for low-resource settings.
As newborns are unable to regulate their own body temperatures this often leads to hypothermia, a condition which affects 32-85% of newborns globally and between 4-12 million of India’s newborns yearly*. The consequences of hypothermia can include retarded growth, poor organ development, and even death. In addition, statistics show bacterial infections (sepsis) cause approximately 250,000** infant deaths in India alone.
In developed countries, regular temperature monitoring is the standard of care. The entrant’s research in approx. 70 clinics around India showed that not only were temperature readings often neglected in low-resource clinics but that uneducated mothers were unable to read thermometers.
With a design leverging cultural acceptance, BEMPU does not need to be connected to a smartphone, like many other similar devices, a factor further encouraging use by low-income families. The target market includes 1-2 million newborns per year which go through one of ~1,800 neonatal intensive care units in India. The secondary market is the larger 8 million low-weight newborns born every year in India.
*Lunze, Karsten et al. The Global Burden of Neonatal Hypothermia: Systematic Review of a Major
**Challenge for Newborn Survival; BMC Medicine 11.1 (2013): 24. Print.
Lawn, Joy E., Simon Cousens, and Jelka Zupan 4 million neonatal deaths: when? Where? Why? The Lancet 365.9462 (2005): 891-900.
The biggest impact and scale can be achieved by bringing our device to babies born in government centers. These are among the poorest babies who typically receive low quality of care and have poor health outcomes. In addition to government sales, they are working with the private market in parallel.
In the private Indian market, their primary business model involves the device being stocked in the pharmacy of hospitals which contain Neonatal ICUs. The doctor prescribes the device to a baby around the time of discharge and the parent pays for and uses the bracelet while in the hospital and then at home. They have sales representatives based in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Delhi to help with distribution.
The primary segment for both revenue and impact is with the Indian government. In this model, the government purchases Bempu Bracelets and distributes it at no cost to the low-income parents being cared for in government centers.
BEMPU has also recently begun online sales through their website and Amazon.
- No external power supply or smartphone required
- Some level of training required
- Cultural acceptance by parents required
- Over 1,500 babies protected in 150 centres across 20 states in India
Organization: Bempu Health
Contact: Ratul Narain
Used in: India