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Team Members:
  • Rachel An
  • Andrew Jann
  • Matthew Lerner
  • Polly Ma
  • Mohit Singhala
  • Soumyadipta Acharya, MD, PhD
  • Azadeh Farzin, MD
  • Christopher Golden, MD
  • Alain Labrique, PhD
  • Youseph Yazdi, PhD


Approximately 2.7 million newborns die each year, with 75% of these deaths occurring during the first week of life. One approach to tackle this problem has been to send community health workers, or CHWs, to the home to assess the neonate during this high risk period. The CHW assesses the neonate based on the WHO guidelines: difficulty feeding, convulsions, chest indrawing, movement only when stimulated, respiratory rate > 60bpm, and temperature > 37.5°C or < 35.5°C. Identification of even one of these danger signs is indicative of severe neonatal illness and result in referral of the neonate to a facility. However, the limited number of community health workers and infrequency of visits create a bottleneck, and the timing of proper assessment aligning with the onset of symptoms is happenstance. During the times in the first week when the CHW is not present, sick neonates may be identified too late to impact survival. By improving the frequency and quality of neonate assessment during the first week of life, our innovation aims to tackle preventable neonatal deaths caused by delayed identification of illness. NeMo (neonatal monitoring) aims to task-shift neonatal assessment from CHWs to mothers and provide tools for them to identify neonatal illness in the first week of life. The NeMo system consists of a smartphone application to guide the mother through the assessment based on the evidence-based WHO guidelines and a proprietary ultra low-cost disposable sensor that measures the respiratory rate and temperature of the neonate. The mother will use the system everyday for the first week of the neonate’s life, allowing for more frequent assessment of the neonate compared to the current standard of care.

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