Neonatal Jaundice affects 13 million babies born in India each year. The condition is characterized by a yellowing of the skin due to the build-up of bilirubin, a pigment toxic in high quantities. Untreated jaundice can quickly evolve into kernicterus, a state of permanent brain damage. In mild-to-moderate cases, children are often kept in the neonatal ICU even when intensive care is not necessary because doctors are skeptical of the parents ability to adequately monitor and respond to an escalation in the severity of jaundice. Overuse of the NICU is undesirable as it leads to higher infection rates (due to overcrowding), reduced opportunity for parent-child bonding, high costs, and inefficient usage of both hospital space and physician time.
We have the opportunity to innovate in order to create an option that is both affordable (unlike the NICU) and safe (unlike existing home care). Developing such a solution will also help increase access to quality care in rural regions, where NICUs may not exist to begin with. A solution that makes the lives of parents easier will help reduce the high rates of mood disorder symptoms & financial stress present within this group. Further, the reduced infection rates and increased parent-child bonding that home care can facilitate will lead to better clinical outcomes and developmental trajectories for neonates.
We intend on building an affordable, accessible and holistic solution that leads to better outcomes for both parents and physicians. Our solution would facilitate the passive & continuous monitoring of bilirubin levels in neonates and help physicians remotely track the baby' vitals. It would also help increase awareness and communicate information on measures that can be taken at home by parents for prevention or treatment under the guidance of the physician and our mobile application.