Field Tested

DreamWarmer has been tested 204 times in district hospitals and health centers throughout Rwanda

  • 98% infants achieved or maintained normal temperature
  • 100% correct preparation, use, and cleaning of warmer despite short training
  • No adverse effects except 3% instances of mild hyperthermia
  • Overwhelmingly positive feedback from mothers and nurses in qualitative interviews

DreamWarmer’s mattress in partially melted phase (extra long prototype used in early testing).

DreamWarmer Demo

Watch our Demo on Open Pediatrics

In this video, Dr. Anne Hansen, Medical Director of the Neonatal ICU at Boston Children’s Hospital, outlines challenges facing today’s physicians and nurses in Rwanda as they care for newborns. She also introduces the DreamWarmer and outlines the benefits of its use in dealing with the challenge of neonatal hypothermia.

Phase 1

The warmer was tested 102 times for babies who were hypothermic or at risk for hypothermia because of low birth weight (< 2.5 kg) in two district hospitals in Rwanda. In 98% of uses, hypothermia was prevented or corrected and there were no adverse effects except seven instances of mild hyperthermia. There were no instances of incorrect preparation, use or cleaning despite only a short training period. 

Phase 2

We have recently completed use of the warmer an additional 102 times in the health center setting in Rwanda, along with qualitative interviews of nurses and mothers regarding their opinions of the warmers and its relationship with STS. There was only one instance of mild hyperthermia (37.7 °C) that resolved despite the infant remaining on the warmer. Of 81 hypothermic infants placed on the warmer, 79 became euthermic. Again there were no instances of incorrect use. During qualitative interviews, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from mothers and nurses.

Qualitative Results are overwhelmingly positive:

When you measure infants’ temperature and you find that they are cold, you can give one to each infant and then where you are in your job you can feel confident that your infants are warm.

Rwandan Nurse

For me, I found that the warmer doesn’t cause any problem, it is a very good thing. Maybe you should see how you can supply the warmers to all health facilities and health posts, just everywhere so that new babies can be warmed up.


There is nothing else I can add except for thanking you who have brought this infant warmer, because it has helped me. I don’t even know how my baby would get warm had you not given me the warmer.


When you put the infant on a warmer, who was in post-partum care crying and not breastfeeding. The infant starts to breastfeed and stop crying immediately. It is an amazing thing because mothers did not know what to do.

Rwandan Nurse

Current Testing

Based on the encouraging results from our pilot field studies, we are now conducting a Stepped Wedge randomized controlled clinical trial. With this trial design, each hospital serves as its own control: The control data is collected during an initial pre-intervention period for each hospital. During this time, hospitals are providing current standard-of-care based on the Rwandan National Neonatal Protocols, with STS offered for infants who meet certain criteria based on degree of prematurity, body weight and temperature, while collecting data regarding vital signs, rate of growth, length of hospital stay and mortality. A district hospital is then added at regular intervals (steps) at which time the DreamWarmer is introduced and that hospital moves from the control arm to the treatment arm (DreamWarmer). Gradually all of the study hospitals will move from the control arm to treatment arm over an approximate six-month period.