High-Tech Baby Burrito Saves Lives

OK, so it’s not exactly a burrito, but the headline got your attention, didn’t it?

Embrace infant warmers look like mini sleeping bags, with one key difference — they can be heated with a just a bit of electricity or with boiling water. The innovative product is designed to keep premature and sick newborns warm without the expense and electricity needs of incubators. That’s a big deal in impoverished countries where incubators are a luxury.

I was with ABC News when the network covered Embrace back in 2010 and I was thrilled to read about the advances the company has made since then.

In an op-ed piece on, Embrace co-founder Jane Chen writes that Embrace has helped more than 20,000 babies, mostly in India, and is running pilot programs in 10 countries. Chen said the company had originally designed the warmers for hospital settings but is now working on a version of the warmers that mothers can use at home.

Humans have “a selfless determination to protect and to care for those whom we love…There is no purer instance of this than with a mother and her baby. With solutions designed with this in mind, newborn deaths no longer need to be a part of everyday life,” Chen wrote.

Learn about Embrace’s surprising roots — four Stanford students invented the warmers as a class assignment — in the video below. To donate to Embrace, check out the company’s website.

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