Redesigning The Nonprofit: Jane Chen At Wired 2012 [VIDEO]
Chen learned that of the 20,000,000 low birth weight and premature babies that are born each year, 450 die every hour—unable to maintain a regular body temperature from their lack of body fat. Meanwhile, traditional incubators in the developed world were too expensive, too complex, and required power resources that simply weren't readily available. "What was needed was not just a lower cost version of what exists today," Chen explains. "We needed something that could work without a constant supply of electricity, that was easy enough for a mother or midwife to use, that was portable." In short, she realized her team had to completely overhaul the traditional model and build something new.
Today, Chen (a senior TED Fellow) makes an infant warmer that costs 1 per cent of a traditional incubator, is safe for the baby, and requires no medical training to operate. "It is my hope that through simple, affordable, locally appropriate technologies...innocent lives are no longer needlessly lost," she says. Her goal, explained at the conference, is to expand her product line to include more disruptive—and necessary—health care technologies that can help people in the developing world to care for themselves and for their families.