Currently, 4.5 million babies under the age of one die each year in low resource countries, with 2.6 million deaths occurring within a month of birth. Yet, many of these deaths could be prevented through the proper administration of medications and nutrients formulated for infants.
The delivery of medicines to babies in low resource areas has been hindered due to supply chain challenges, poor health education and a lack of hygiene and accurate dosing in currently used delivery methods. Pharmaceutical companies have not often focused on babies in clinical studies thus far, and as a result much less is known about the effect of medicines on infants.
The Justmilk Device
JustMilk has the potential to change all of this with the development of a simple and novel device which empowers mothers to non-invasively deliver medicines to their babies through breast milk. This device is based on pre-existing technology, the results of studies into the response of breastfeeding babies, and carefully developed formulations of medicines.
The JustMilk device will provide a unique, user-informed solution to this challenge. A wide range of active pharmaceutical ingredients could be delivered to infants using the device, such as antibiotics, antimalarials, antiretrovirals, vitamins, nutrients, and probiotics.
JustMilk is a project dedicated to improving maternal and infant health through developing top quality, user-informed medical devices and supporting projects focused on empowering women worldwide. We believe that the true power of development lies in the end-user, and we maintain an unrelenting philosophy of co-creation in all aspects of our work. JustMilk aims to partner with pharmaceutical companies, NGOs, and communities to develop medical technologies and community projects to combat infant mortality from many directions, leading to a brighter future for children and mothers in all regions of the world.
2008: Idea conceived at International Development Design Summit at MIT.
2009: Gates Foundation Grant Challenge Exploration Grant
2010: Clinton Global Initiative University Outstanding Commitment Award
2010: Beginning of collaboration with UC Berkeley School of Public Health
2013: Establishment of 501(c)(3) JustMilk nonprofit in California, USA
2013: Saving Lives at Birth Seed Grant
2014: Began work with the University of Venda, Limpopo, South Africa. Peer-reviewed pre-clinical acceptability study.
2015: Three more prototype iterations produced for testing
2015: Financial support from International Development Innovation Network
2016: JustMilk wins Pitch@Palace
2016: CAMTech award
2018: Collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital to conduct pre-clinical acceptability study.