Global Newborn Solutions

A new solution to fight infant hypothermia in rural areas

Develop Sustainable Strategies

Global NewbornSolutions

The Challenge

Annually, hypothermia contributes to the death of 1 million newborns in low- and middle-income countries. In its mission to address early neonatal deaths from this condition in rural regions with little or no electricity, Global Newborn Solutions (GNS) has developed an innovative concept: the DreamWarmer — a reusable heating technology activated by boiling water that mimics skin-to-skin care. Recognizing the need for a high-fidelity design with detailed technical specifications, GNS sought our propellers to help them with this task, and to also identify manufacturing partners capable of undertaking volume production at scale, ensuring the widespread availability of the DreamWarmer where it is most needed.

92%

DreamWarmer's overall effectiveness on keeping newborns warm.

The Solution

/ IMPROVING USABILITY

In designing the thermal mattress, we prioritized user-friendliness and manufacturing simplicity. We used a 40-42°C orange Phase Change Material (PCM) in a single row, changing color when safe to handle. The mattress corners were rounded to avoid tearing the thermal sleeve.

/ ENHANCING DURABILITY AND MANUFACTURING

In the manufacturing process, we encountered another challenge: the mattresses needed to withstand 100+ heating cycles to be effective. Our team rapidly iterated and achieved this improvement by using a 7-layer co-extruded plastic and employing radio-frequency sealing.

 

Combating newborn hypothermia with dreamwarmer

“Thanks to propelland’s expertise in design and engineering, we streamlined the sourcing and testing of materials for commercial production faster than we thought.”

John Memarian

President of Global Newborn Solutions

/ RAPID DESIGN SPRINTS

Working with GNS and selected manufacturers, we evolved the project from low-fidelity sketches to two mid-fidelity designs. Each design was developed in CAD and quickly iterated based on the manufacturers’ feedback, ultimately achieving a high-fidelity design that became the mold for producing the sample prototype.

 

Combating newborn hypothermia

DreamWarmer debuted in Rwanda and is expanding globally, partnering with Ministries of Health and healthcare delivery NGOs for broader reach.

The Impact

The DreamWarmer has undergone extensive testing in +1,000 instances across rural settings, and the results have been outstanding, demonstrating its efficacy in critical situations. Impressively, 89% of hypothermic patients experienced a return to warmth, and 99% of euthermic patients remained warm using the DreamWarmer when skin-to-skin contact was not an option, leading to an impressive overall warmth rate of 92%. Moreover, in studies focusing on newborns at risk of hypothermia due to factors such as low birth weight or prematurity, the DreamWarmer proved extremely effective: 100% of these infants maintained euthermia when it was their sole external heat source.

Following its impactful debut in Africa, the DreamWarmer is now making its mark globally, representing a significant step in providing innovative and life-saving warmth solutions to a broader audience.