P18027: Neonatal Medical Transport

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

  1. To acquire well defined customer requirements
  2. To understand the use cases for the neonatal ambulance
  3. Discuss Intellectual Property expectations within the group
  4. Evaluate customer requirements, engineering requirements, and associated risks


  1. Conducted customer interview to understand customer requirements
  2. Defined project summary
  3. Determined roles within group
  4. Defined multiple use cases for ambulance
  5. Discussed Intellectual Property
  6. Defined customer requirements, engineering requirements, and risk associated

Project Summary

A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is designed to support and care for premature and critical care newborns. In Honduras, Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa and Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula are the only tier 3 hospitals with specialized NICU units, and both are over capacity. Hospital Escuela alone housed 16,174 births in 2015, more than double the amount the facilities were designed to accommodate. In that same year, La Escuela and Mario Riveras hospitals combined for 60% of the country's infant mortality rate, 17.4 deaths per 1000 births. 52.2% of these deaths were due to the infants waiting for an incubator to become available, with many critical and premature infants unable to make the trip from a lower tiered hospital.

The goal of this project is to create a proposal for a neonatal emergency vehicle to transport critical care infants from a lower tiered hospital in Comayagua to Hospital Escuela. As a result, the expected proposal will be for a rugged and reliable vehicle that is easily repaired with parts common in Honduras, capable of operating the necessary equipment while in transit. The design must meet budgetary constraints so as to attain funding while still be able to fulfill its function effectively and reliably.

Use Cases

Click Here to view the workflow map

A Tier 2 Hospital calls La Escuela with a baby in need of transport for more specialized care...

Scenario 1: There is no medical personnel present in vehicle

Scenario 2: The driver is the only medical professional present

Scenario 3: The driver and an additional EMT are both present in the vehicle

Scenario 4: The driver is not a trained medical professional, but an EMT is present in the back

Appropriate Use Scenario: Scenario 4. There will be a driver with no medical training but a medical professional will be riding in the back of the emergency vehicle treating the infants during transit.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

  1. Entire Design Documentation
  2. Exploratory Mock Up
  3. Technical Paper
  4. Budget Information
  5. Intellectual Property
  6. Project Resources
  7. Full Proposal for Functional Vehicle

Customer Requirements (Needs)

User Medical Technical
Communication between driver and medical professional Incubator Reliable Power Generation System
Short Response Time Oxygen Tanks Temperature & Humidity Sensors
Ability to treat critically ill infant Vitals Monitor Lighting in back of vehicle
Seating for family/mother Blood pressure cuffs, tubing, IV Drips, needles, tape, scissors CPAP modification/Ventilation System
Climate control Sanitation Supplies (bleach, hand sanitizer) Baby supplies (blankets, hats, diapers)
Seating for medical technician in the back of ambulance Ability to regulate number of incubators in transport (max 3)

Engineering Requirements

Overview: A safe and effective neonatal ambulance containing multiple incubators to transport critically ill newborns from Comayagua to Hospital Escuela.

Click Here to view the full list of Engineering Requirements