Neopenda, a Chicago-based health tech startup has recently unveiled its first product, a wearable device that monitors vital signs of newborns. Almost 3 million babies die within the first month of their birth, according to the company. Vast majority of these deaths (98 percent) occur in developing countries, and in many cases these tragedies could be prevented, the company said.
“Reducing newborn mortality is a really large global issue right now, because nearly 3 million newborns are dying from preventable causes and 80% of those deaths are actually preventable,” says Neopenda CEO and co-founder Sona Shah.
Shah told Medgadget she became really interested in the intersection of engineering, healthcare, and international development after spending a few months in western Kenya and subsequently in R&D at a pharma company. So she decided to pursue an MS in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University to follow her passion.
In many developing countries, a lack of resources cause understaffing and insufficient healthcare equipment. This means that healthcare personnel find it difficult, and in some cases impossible to properly monitor sick newborns to evaluate if they need treatment.
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