Hypotermia (low body temperature) and infection are among the top causes of newborn death and illness in resource-poor areas. Low birth weight newborns are at high risk of hypothermia due to their inability to regulate the body temperature. Every year approximately 20 million babies are born low weight worldwide, and are at risk of this much preventable condition.
BEMPU Health has developed a TempWatch – a temperature monitoring bracelet that continuously monitors a neonate’s temperature for 1 month in the hospital and at home. If a neonate’s body temperature drops below 36.5C, the device alerts the parent/caregiver in the form of an audio-visual alarm so they can perform kangaroo mother care (KMC) to warm the baby. Immediate action prevents further hypothermia and other deadly consequences. Multiple continuous alarms signal the infant is unable to maintain temperature, implying a possible infection and cause for seeking skilled help. Device features include:
Continuous temperature monitoring with a visual and audio alarm, alerting caregivers even during the night.
Being worn on the wrist, it is very comfortable and safe for the baby and easy to check by the caregivers.
The device’s user interface is extremely simple and intuitive to be understood by people of all levels of literacy and languages.
Most other products available for hypothermia management depend on a smartphone to operate, require internet and electricity, all of which are highly constrained in low-resource homes.
Preventing hypothermia is recognized as an essential part of care for all newborns by the WHO, and governments, which can be done by regular temperature monitoring. However, hypothermia is often missed because:
In low-resource hospitals, the nurses are overburdened and often skip temperature readings among competing priorities.
In low-resource homes, parents are often uneducated and do not monitor the temperature routinely due to lack of awareness and inability to operate thermometers.
Unattended hypothermia results in poor growth, poor organ development, and death. Our program targets these low weight newborns in low-resource countries.
TempWatch is scaled up in 10 low and middle income countries in Asia, Africa, and Pacific Oceania. The TempWatch’s impact has been studied through multiple clinical studies in government and private centers. Our nine published clinical studies and two independent evaluations by UNICEF and the CDC in Atlanta reported that the usage of TempWatch led to improved clinical outcomes like higher weight gain (28g vs. 23g), increased KMC episodes by caregivers (3 hrs vs. 2.4 hrs) and reduction in mortality (6% vs. 14% in BEMPU and non BEMPU users respectively). Duke University recently evaluated our TempWatch innovation and published it as highly cost-effective in its ability to save lives.
Over the next 5 years, we will provide hypothermia management to 2 million newborns through our intervention. In order to achieve this, we plan to build a strong sales and distribution network in low and middle income countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Main Target Group
Patient population: includes low-weight/preterm newborns in community and facility settings.
Target segments: both private and government hospitals who serve premature and low birth weight babies.
Low birth weight newborns.