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Team Members:
  • Ryan Bell
  • Brielle Cenci
  • Kaveri Das
  • Grace Weyand
  • Hannah Sennik
  • Sneha Shivkumar
  • Soumyadipta Acharya, PhD
  • Azadeh Farzin, MD
  • Christopher Golden, MD
  • Alain Labrique, PhD
  • Youseph Yazdi, PhD
  • Aditya Polsani


Approximately 2.7 million newborns die each year. 99% of these deaths occur in low-resource settings, and 75% of these deaths occur during the first week of life. In Uganda, community health workers, or CHWs, visit the homes of newborns to assess their health during the first week of life. The CHWs check for seven danger signs that have been established by the World Health Organization (WHO). There are four qualitative signs: difficulty feeding, convulsions, chest indrawing, and movement only when stimulated; and three quantitative signs: 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, which means that the neonate should be taken to a health facility. The problem is that there are not enough CHWs to visit every newborn, which means that many neonatal illnesses go unnoticed until it is too late. Our solution is the NeMo (neonatal monitoring) system, which empowers mothers to assess their own baby’s health at home. This system aims to reduce the number of preventable neonatal deaths by improving the frequency and quality of neonatal health assessments during the first week of life. The NeMo system consists of an audiobook that guides the mother in checking for the qualitative danger signs and a wearable sensor that checks for the qualitative danger signs. The mother will use the system every day of the newborn’s first week of life, allowing for more frequent assessment of the neonate compared to the current standard of care.

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