Inexpensive Baby Incubator in the Context of Bangladesh

Title Inexpensive Baby Incubator in the Context of Bangladesh
Authors Tahzib Mashrik, ASM Muktdiru Baized, Taj Ul Haque
Semester Fall, 2015

incubatorFor the 499 Capstone Design Project we built an inexpensive baby incubator for premature and low birth weight babies. It is optimized for use in rural areas of Bangladesh. In 14 out of 100 babies born prematurely every year and preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death in newborns, which accounts for 45% of all newborn deaths in Bangladesh. An incubator is the chief apparatus for the survival of a preterm baby.

To make the device inexpensive the focus was on the three most important factors for the survival of a premature baby: heat, humidity and oxygenation. An incandescent bulb was used as a heat source, which converts 98% of its energy to heat. An ultrasonic fogger was used as a humidifier. A temperature and humidity sensor was integrated with the Arduino controller to ensure optimum heat and humidity levels inside an enclosed baby chamber using PID algorithm. DC fans were used to ensure proper air flow inside the chamber. To construct the incubator Acrylic was the preferred material because of its medical acceptance and good heat tolerance. Other safety and security devices include a fuse, alarm, LED, LCD display, gas sensor, heart beat sensor, extra temperature and light sensor.

The two 200W bulb was successful in raising the temperature of the baby chamber to the desired 37 degree Celsius, which is optimum for a premature baby’s survival. The ultrasonic fogger can individually raise the humidity levels of the baby chamber to a desired 75%. However when the both devices are running together, the humidifier cannot reach the desired levels. It cannot counter the dry heat from the bulb to produce sufficient humidity. An alternate water heater was tested which is much more adept at raising the humidity levels to the desired levels.