High-intensity, collapsible phototherapy device for neonatal jaundice for home use

Period of Performance: 08/15/2016 - 07/31/2017


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Little Sparrows Technologies, LLC
Winchester, MA 01890
Principal Investigator


Approximately 10% of all newborns worldwide risk permanent neurotoxic brain injury due severe neonataljaundice (SNJ). This condition, generally occurring in the first two weeks of life, is almost always cured withhigh-intensity blue light phototherapy. In the United States, most phototherapy is delivered in a neonatalintensive care unit (NICU) because effective, high-intensity devices have engineering features limiting use tothat environment. This current care practice has the undesirable consequence of separating mothers andbabies during a developmentally vulnerable time while breastfeeding is being established. Approximately250,000 otherwise well newborns require phototherapy each year. The annual estimated health care costs fortreating SNJ in hospitals are in excess of $300 million.Little Sparrows Technologies has developed the Bili-Hut?, a novel, portable, high-intensity, radialarray phototherapy device for use at the mother's bedside in the hospital or in the home. Currentphototherapy devices sufficiently portable for home use do not deliver adequate phototherapy to meet theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for high-intensity phototherapy. The Bili-Hut? meetscurrent phototherapy standards, enables treatment in a mother's post-partum room during birth hospitaladmission, and eliminates the need for hospital readmissions for otherwise well jaundiced babies who can betreated at home. This will eliminate the stress of separation to the mother-baby pair during treatment at asubstantially reduced cost.We have achieved our Phase I goal of creation of a next-stage Bili-Hut? that demonstrates efficacy superior toa market-leading NICU phototherapy device through increased skin exposure to therapeutic light. Our Phase IIaims will develop capabilities of thermostability and improved infant eye shielding from noxious blue lightexposure through an innovative, comprehensive device design.Innovations in this project include the radial Bili-Hut? light array with reflective interior, providing superiorlight distribution, the first environmental temperature-modulated, high-intensity phototherapy device, the firsthigh-intensity phototherapy device to eliminate the need for infant eye protection, and the first mother-babyfriendly, high-intensity device that will enable use in the home.