Overview of Current DtM Projects
Project Firefly: Infant Phototherapy
District-level hospitals in Southeast Asia providing primary health care and attempting to reduce the volume of newborn patient referrals to overloaded national-level hospitals NEED a safe, robust and inexpensive tool to provide infant phototherapy and warming for otherwise healthy newborns at risk of developing hyperbilirubinemia and hypothermia.
In response, Design that Matters (DtM), the East Meets West Foundation (EMW) and Vietnamese manufacturer MTTS have launched a collaboration to develop a new infant care device that will treat newborn jaundice during the critical first days of life. This effort will build on EMW’s successful Breath of Life program and extensive network of collaborators across Southeast Asia, DtM’s experience in the design of newborn technologies for the poor, and MTTS's expertise in the production and support of context-appropriate medical devices.
NeoNurture: The "Car Parts" Incubator
Every year over four million infants in the developing world die within a month of birth. Half of these newborns would survive if given a warm and clean environment in which to grow stronger. In developing countries, not only is there limited access to modern, high-tech incubators, but a lack of infrastructure and replacement parts render such devices worthless.
Our goal is to develop a newborn incubator for the developing world that takes advantage of locally-available replacement parts, the familiar mechanical language of automobile design, and globe-spanning auto-industry supply chains to create a context-appropriate product that can be locally maintained.
Our project partners include CIMIT GHI (Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovation Technology: Global Health Initiative) in Boston, MA and Medicine Mondiale in New Zealand. Research partners include St. Elizabeth's and Childrens Hospital in Boston, MA, the Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, Cut Nyak Dhien Hospital in Meulaboh, Indonesia and the Chengelpattu Medical College in Tamil Nadu, India. We are currently developing manufacturing partnerships for clinical testing and product implementation.
Kinkajou® Microfilm Projector and Portable Library
One in five adults worldwide does not know how to read. In rural regions of West Africa, up to 75% of the population is illiterate. According to Barbara Garner of World Education, “It’s the lack of resources”—specifically access to books and lighting—rather than a lack of interest in education that contributes to illiteracy rates.
To solve this problem, DtM designed a rugged, lightweight, low-power projection system, which uses a microfilm cassette to store 10,000 pages of information at a fraction of the cost of paper books. In 2004, with funding from USAID, World Education implemented Kinkajou Projectors in literacy centers in 45 Malian villages. To date, over 3,000 adults have learned to read using these projectors.
Improved Intravenous Drip Flow Controller
In the hospitals of the developing world, family members with no medical training typically replace nurses for bedside care, and the simple intravenous (IV) drip tube and clamp represent state-of-the-art technology in flow control for drug delivery. It takes practice to achieve accurate flow rate settings with this device, and errors can be deadly.
At the start of this project, DtM explored opportunities to create a more user-friendly and intuitive means to control IV drip flow rate, as part of our very first design studio course at MIT. In May 2005, three patents were issued to MIT on the work performed by DtM in the area of improved IV drip flow monitoring and control. In August 2005, DtM launched a collaboration with New Zealand-based NGO Medicine Mondiale to determine the key clinical design inputs for an improved IV flow controller. This included funding clinical surveys in America, Asia and Africa. Based on these insights, Medicine Mondiale created the the Acuset IV flow controller. The Acuset controller completed clinical trials in 2007, and volume production will begin in 2008. Medicine Mondiale's Acuset controller has the potential to improve drug delivery and palliative care, and to save lives, throughout the developing world.
Firefly Wins Top Award at 2013 Edison Awards
Firefly Phototherapy was voted a Gold winner for social impact at the April 25th event at Navy Pier in Chicago
Solidworks Profiles Firefly Phototherapy
Solidworks has been a fantastic DtM supporter for years. As part of their "Born to Design" series, the company recently created a video feature about DtM's Project Firefly.