Ratul Narain of BEMPU Technologies in India will create a sleeve that can be simply attached to slings used for kangaroo mother care, which is a continuous skin-to-skin contact method of care for newborns suited to low-resource settings, to measure and encourage use. Kangaroo mother care is particularly beneficial for preterm and low-weight babies as it maintains their body temperature and thereby avoids hypothermia and promotes weight gain. However, in India, uptake in the home is low, which appears to be due in part to the lack of real-time feedback for mothers showing how it is helping their baby. They will make the attachable sleeve, known as Kangagrow, containing mechanical force gauges and an audio-visual interface displaying a colored flower that gradually blooms during the continual use of kangaroo mother care to demonstrate to the mother and family that their efforts are providing what is essentially 'nourishment' to the baby. It will also contain a safe power source that doesn't require charging over the 30-day neonatal period. They will verify its accuracy in a hospital setting, and perform a multicenter trial of 100 mothers to see whether it promotes newborn weight gain and growth.
More information about Wearables and Technology for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Behavior Change (Round 19)