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TowerDIRECT Uses ‘Baby Pod’ Developed by Racecar Driver to Transport Tiniest Patients

Technology developed by a Formula One racecar driver was donated by Reading Hospital Foundation.

Jan 08, 2024

From left to right: Katherine Thornton, Reading Hospital Foundation President; Christine Keithly, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, System Director, Nursing Operations; and Brad Cosgrove, MHA, NRP, FP-C, Director & Chief of EMS at TowerDIRECT discuss the life-saving technology the Baby Pod provides.

by Reading Hospital – Tower Health

A technology developed by a Formula One racecar driver will now help TowerDIRECT, the system’s non-profit ambulance company, safely transport the tiniest patients in our community.

Baby Pods provide a full body harness for infants in a sealed environment that includes heat regulation and protection. The technology will add another life-saving measure for infants needing advanced, specialized care at one of the health system’s NICUs.

The Reading Hospital Foundation recently donated one Baby Pod to TowerDIRECT, which saw an increasing need for the equipment as it expanded its service area and received more requests to transport premature and newborn babies to Reading Hospital and Phoenixville Hospital.

“Ensuring our patients are transported in the safest manner possible while providing excellent clinical care is always our highest priority,” said Herbert Schiffer, DO, Medical Director for TowerDIRECT. “The infant population in prehospital medicine comes with its own unique set of challenges, so the addition of a Baby Pod enhances our team’s ability to care for these precious patients.”

Baby Pods are critical because newborns have not yet had the time to acclimate their bodies to temperature and surroundings. When babies become cold, they do not yet have the coping mechanisms physiologically to handle the adversity, causing issues with their vital signs and blood glucose levels. The size and weight of the baby also become factors in whether they can be safely transported to the appropriate destination.

“Having a baby should be the most joyous time in one’s life,” Katherine Thornton, Reading Hospital Foundation president, said. “When a family finds out their baby needs to be transported to the NICU, they can become worried. The Foundation was delighted to provide a Baby Pod to help reassure families their baby would have access to the highest level of care and safety. We thank the team at TowerDIRECT for their ongoing efforts for all their patients.”

Reading Hospital is the flagship Magnet Recognized acute care hospital of Tower Health. Located in West Reading, Reading Hospital is a 697-bed hospital that is home to many top-tier specialty care centers, including Reading HealthPlex, McGlinn Cancer Institute, Miller Regional Heart Center, Emergency Department, Level I Trauma Center, and Beginnings Maternity Center, which houses the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With more than 1,000 physicians, specialists, and advanced practice providers across 49 locations, Reading Hospital has been recognized for its quality outcomes and clinical expertise across service lines. It is listed as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for four consecutive years (and moving up to America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2022). For more information, visit

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