The UW had the right people, with the right expertise, to get this idea off the ground.
Collaborators from the UW School of Dentistry, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), and Seattle Children’s Hospital developed this innovative feeding cup that helps prevent starvation for millions of these high-risk babies.
It was quite dramatic to see how easy it was for infants to feed from the NIFTY cup. It was confirmation that the design worked as we had planned and anticipated and hoped.
For five years, the team tested various cup designs. To be successful, the cup had to be simple to use – almost intuitive – and be appropriate for the mother to express and save breast milk, and for the infant to feed. It had to be durable, easy to ship, and cheap. The ultimate NIFTY design is all these things. The real game changer was its silicone material: tough enough to be sterilized with boiling water and soft enough to adapt to the baby’s mouth.
Partnering with the nonprofit global health community in Seattle and beyond, the UW team is now making the NIFTY cup widely available to needy babies and families around the world.