Keriton Underwrites First Candle Event on Implicit Bias and Infant Mortality

Every year as many as 15 percent of babies born in the U.S. – more than 500,000 infants  – spend some time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a variety of conditions, primarily prematurity.

Breast milk helps all newborns grow strong, protecting them from infection and illness and significantly reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But it is especially vital for these most fragile patients in the NICU who have a 4x higher risk of SIDS.

As a company founded to improve the health of mothers and babies, Keriton is pleased to underwrite an event hosted by First Candle at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J., on October 1 and reception honoring New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy for her Nurture NJ program and author/advocate Kimberly Seals Allers for the development of the Irth app.

The event is a roundtable discussion involving Federal agencies, national and state advocates and community leaders who together will address The Impact of Implicit Bias and Social Determinants on Infant Mortality.  The group aims to  gain insight into the systemic changes necessary to improve infant mortality rates in communities of color and address the effects of historical and structural racism and other key barriers to education and support on safe sleep and maternal care for families.  

Making Sure Babies Get Their Breast Milk

Despite the critical role of breast milk, much of breast milk management in these hospital settings is manual, labor-intensive, and error prone. Nurses have said that the “bottle maps” in most NICUs are a “mind-blowing” inventory of milk from different moms, with different expiration dates and different supplements. 

Working with medical professionals, Keriton developed a system that better tracks and manages breast milk used for hospitalized babies through a platform that can be accessed through a smartphone app or computer. The streamlined process provides an audit trail that accounts for every step: beginning with moms pumping milk into bottles labeled with bar-coded information, to transport and feed preparation, to the actual validated feeding of the baby.

The moms and their lactation consultants get real-time information on the volume of milk pumped and other biofeedback. Each mom has a dashboard to track progress. It’s a great way to engage the millennial mom accustomed to using her smartphone as a tool in many tasks.

The app prompts nurses to snap a picture of the baby nursing to send to a parent when she/he is not at the hospital.

Safer, More Efficient Breast Milk Delivery

The Keriton system, developed by Keriton in collaboration with Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, is now used at four hospitals in the Northeast and continues to expand its presence nationwide.  Nurses say it greatly streamlines the process: saving time and leaving less room for costly errors.

The system is the new gold standard of feeding management, lactation analytics and patient engagement. It offers a process that is safer, more efficient, and cost-effective.

Outreach and education are key in addressing infant and maternal health, and new technologies can play an important role.