Jane Chen | Embrace
Fellows work to maximize the impact of their ideas through design. They work through a systematic process driven by the five elements of scalability: real impact, big bang for the buck, lasting behavior change, easy replication, and the right path to scale. Fellows participate in the program for two years, working through several design iterations.
THE IDEA: Embrace
The $100 infant incubator and more: a user-based design process that integrates critical needs, extreme affordability, and breakthrough technologies
HOW IT WORKS
- Identify needs
- Know the customer and what they can afford
- Develop innovative products based on low cost technologies
- Design products locally
- Manufacture at low cost
- Find or create the right distribution channels
THE PERSON: Jane Chen
Jane Chen is a reformed management consultant turned social entrepreneur living in India to lead Embrace
After she quit her management consulting job to work on HIV/AIDS issues in China and Africa, Jane saw stunning healthcare disparities firsthand. She got an MBA and Masters in Public Policy, and co-founded Embrace with a team of engineers to create affordable, life saving products for mass distribution. Jane is now headed to India to launch the $100 incubator.
20 million premature and low-birth-weight babies are born every year and are at high risk of death or disability because of hypothermia. The solution is a low-cost incubator, as traditional incubators cost up to $20,000 and are scarce in developing countries. Jane Chen was part of a team of design students at Stanford University in 2007 that developed an incubator that costs less than $100, which uses an innovative phase-change material to regulate a baby's temperature. It requires no electricity, has no moving parts, is portable, and is safe and intuitive to use. Jane then co-founded Embrace Labs to make sure the incubator reaches those who need it most. Using the design methodology, supply chain and distribution network from the incubator project, Embrace Labs expects to introduce similar products beginning in 2010. With these kinds of “game changing” products and technologies, millions of babies and children around the world can expect to live longer, healthier lives.