Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) is widely used in developed world to treat newborns, especially premature ones, who have trouble breathing. It keeps infants’ lungs inflated and increases oxygenation. bCPAP has the potential to reduce neonatal mortality by 30% in low-resource settings, however, such system is often inaccessible to health care facilities in developing countries since it costs in the thousands of dollars.
A team of bioengineering students at Rice University in Texas invented a low-cost bCPAP through the Rice 360º program. The device can be produced for around $400 and is commercialized by InfantAIR which won the Social Venture Award in the 2010 Rice Business Plan Competition.