Rice News Release: NEST 360˚ jaundice diagnostic device wins grant for continued development

By Newsroom America Feeds at 2 Aug 2017

SUMMARY: NEST 360˚, a Rice University-affiliated international team dedicated to ending preventable newborn deaths in Africa, got a boost this week when one of its life-saving neonatal technologies won funding to support clinical validation and initial scale-up.

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David Ruth 713-348-6327 david@rice.edu (mailto:david@rice.edu)

Mike Williams 713-348-6278 mikewilliams@rice.edu (mailto:mikewilliams@rice.edu)

Rice 360˚ neonatal technology meets development Grand Challenge NEST 360˚ jaundice diagnostic device wins grant for continued development

HOUSTON -- (Aug. 2, 2017) -- NEST 360˚, a Rice University-affiliated international team working to end preventable newborn deaths (http://news.rice.edu/2017/02/15/rice-360-in-running-for-100-million-macarthur-grant/) in Africa, got a boost when one of its life-saving neonatal technologies won funding support.

http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0627_R360-slab-NESTlogo-lg-1rrigg6.jpgThe winner, BiliSpec (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/bilispec) , a jaundice diagnostic device, won a validation grant at the seventh annual DevelopmentXChange event for Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development (https://savinglivesatbirth.net/) in Washington, D.C. on July 27. More than 500 projects applied for the grants and 15 were funded (https://savinglivesatbirth.net/news/17/07/31/fifteen-innovators-get-funding-saving-lives-birth) .

BiliSpec was developed by Rice 360˚ Institute for Global Health (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/) . The device won a grant for multisite clinical validation and development of plans for a national rollout at all Malawi government hospitals.

The technology is one component of a 17-piece neonatal package called NEST (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/nest-360) that aims to save the lives of 1 million (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/copy-of-nest-overview-1) babies per year in sub-Saharan Africa. NEST, short for Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies, is being designed specifically for African hospitals by an international team led by Rice 360˚ director Rebecca Richards-Kortum. NEST 360˚ is one of eight semifinalists for the MacArthur Foundation's $100 million 100&Change (https://www.macfound.org/programs/100change/) grant, which will be awarded later this year to a single proposal that promises to make measurable progress toward solving one of the world's significant problems.

BiliSpec (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/bilispec) is a low-cost, battery-powered reader designed to diagnose jaundice by immediately quantifying serum bilirubin levels from a small drop of whole blood. Jaundice, the buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream, can be deadly if untreated, and most jaundice tests require either disposable test equipment or laboratory equipment like centrifuges or spectrophotometers that many African hospitals cannot afford.

BiliSpec was invented in 2014 and won a seed grant from Saving Lives at Birth in 2015. The new grant will support a large-scale, multi-site clinical trial to validate the accuracy of the device, the development of manufacturing capacity in Malawi for test strips and the development of plans for wide-scale implementation of BiliSpec throughout Malawi.

Grants from Saving Lives at Birth were critical in the development of three other NEST components. Kasupe (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/autosyp) , a low-cost, rugged syringe pump, won an 18-month clinical validation grant in 2016, BreathAlert (http://www.rice360.rice.edu/breathalert) , a simple device to detect and correct apnea of prematurity won a two-year seed grant in 2015, and Pumani (http://hadleighhealthtechnologies.com/pumani-bcpap/) , a rugged, low-cost respiratory device, won a seed grant in 2011 and a transition-to-scale grant in 2012 and is now used in more than 30 countries (http://hadleighhealthtechnologies.com/impact/) .

Richards-Kortum is leading a NEST 360˚ team that includes physicians, engineers and business and entrepreneurial experts from three continents. About 85 percent of newborn deaths in Africa could be prevented with relatively simple technologies that keep babies warm, help them breathe and help doctors diagnose and manage infections and other conditions. NEST 360˚ is designed specifically to address these conditions.

Saving Lives at Birth is a joint undertaking by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

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VIDEOs about NEST 360˚:

0215_MAC100-fouVid-sml (https://youtu.be/gQ-NIorX5DI)

Improving Newborn Survival in Africa https://youtu.be/gQ-NIorX5DI

0215_MAC100-vidR-web (https://youtu.be/o_WJDA1EgT4)

MacArthur 100&Change: Rice 360º https://youtu.be/o_WJDA1EgT4

Additional VIDEOs about Rice 360˚ in Malawi:

0922_GENIUS-queensVid-sml (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdyZjWkoCPVvbSVKSFjE9Mz_O3tWcqa5-)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdyZjWkoCPVvbSVKSFjE9Mz_O3tWcqa5-

IMAGES available for download:

0731_SLAB%201%20small (http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_SLAB-1-web-120zbqo.jpg)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_SLAB-1-web-120zbqo.jpg

The BiliSpec jaundice diagnostic device invented at Rice University. (Credit: 3rd Stone Design)

0731_SLAB%202%20SMALL (http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_SLAB-2-web-uys4tu.jpg)

http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0731_SLAB-2-web-uys4tu.jpg

Rice University graduate student Pelham Keahey presents the case for BiliSpec, a jaundice diagnostic device, at the seventh annual DevelopmentXChange event for Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Meaghan Bond/Rice University)

0627_R360-slab-NESTlogo-sml (http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0627_R360-slab-NESTlogo-lg-1rrigg6.jpg) http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/07/0627_R360-slab-NESTlogo-lg-1rrigg6.jpg (Courtesy of Rice 360˚/Rice University)

MacArthur Foundation 100&Change home page: https://www.100andchange.org/

Rice 360˚'s 100&Change: https://www.macfound.org/Rice360

Richards-Kortum, Oden, Palamountain: All babies deserve a chance to live -- Houston Chronicle, Nov. 18, 2016 http://www.rice360.rice.edu/single-post/2016/11/18/Richards-Kortum-Oden-Palamountain-All-Babies-Deserve-a-Chance-to-Survive

NEST 360˚: http://www.rice360.rice.edu/nest

How good design can save 1 million babies per year -- Rice Magazine, Winter 2017: http://magazine.rice.edu/2017/01/breathe-easy-repeat/

Rice 360˚ home page: http://www.rice360.rice.edu/

Related stories from Rice:

Fortune: Richards-Kortum among 'World's Greatest Leaders' -- March 23, 2017 http://news.rice.edu/2017/03/23/fortune-richards-kortum-among-worlds-greatest-leaders/

Rice 360° in running for $100 million MacArthur grant -- Feb. 15, 2017 http://news.rice.edu/2017/02/15/rice-360-in-running-for-100-million-macarthur-grant/

Breathe easy, repeat -- Winter 2017, Rice Magazine http://magazine.rice.edu/2017/01/breathe-easy-repeat/

Rice 360º wins key funding for low-cost syringe pump -- Aug. 17, 2016 http://news.rice.edu/2016/08/17/rice-360o-wins-key-funding-for-low-cost-syringe-pump-2/

Rice 360˚ project meets Grand Challenge -- Aug. 4, 2014 http://news.rice.edu/2014/08/04/rice-360%CB%9A-project-meets-grand-challenge/

Rice's student-designed device to help babies breathe wins more support -- July 27, 2012 http://news.rice.edu/2012/07/27/rices-student-designed-device-to-help-babies-breathe-wins-more-support/

Rice's low-cost 'infantAIR' device wins big in international contest -- Aug. 4, 2011 http://news.rice.edu/2011/08/04/rices-low-cost-infantair-device-wins-big-in-international-contest/

This release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/2017/08/01/rice-360˚-neonatal-technology-meets-development-grand-challenge/

Saving Lives at Birth release: https://savinglivesatbirth.net/news/17/07/31/fifteen-innovators-get-funding-saving-lives-birth

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