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BabyBloom Incubator

In-house design

Heleen Willemsen, Netherlands

Red Dot: Best of the Best

A feel for protection

Worldwide one in ten babies is born prematurely and often long before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy. For medical reasons these prematurely born babies have to be cared for in incubators with the aim of creating and ensuring optimally controlled conditions for the development of the baby. The BabyBloom reinterprets the familiar design vocabulary of incubators using a highly inspiring approach. In contrast to other incubators and their often technical appearance, the aim of designing the BabyBloom was to take away some of the parents’ fear of the technological environment of the incubator ward. The goal to convey the highest possible sense of protection played a central role in the design process. The BabyBloom protects the baby under an innovative integrated shield that reduces noise and light; a very silently working climate system also keeps the environment around the baby quiet. Since the babies require very intensive care, this incubator can be placed over a hospital bed where the mother can be in very close contact with her child. Another functionally well-thought-out aspect is the fact that the BabyBloom can be adjusted to many different heights; it can be positioned much higher and lower than other incubators. Since the climate system has been integrated in an innovative way in the basic structure, the BabyBloom offers much legroom underneath. Thus, it is possible to stand or sit comfortably at this incubator. With its design, the BabyBloom gives the baby ward a totally new and friendly face. In addition, it conveys a high sense of security.

Statement by the jury

»BabyBloom marks a turning point in the design of incubators, said the jury unanimously. Babies who have been born too early no longer have to be protected and shielded by a purely technical capsule of survival. Instead, in the BabyBloom, they find themselves in an environment that opens and closes almost like a blossom. This portable device also offers considerably higher comfort for both caring parents and hospital staff. With its design it has become possible for the first time to enhance the physical and emotional contact between premature babies and their parents.«

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