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ThinkRevolutionist: Design That Matters

50,000 infants treated by Firefly.
June 24, 2016

DtM partners, East Meets West Foundation and Vietnamese manufacturing, have installed Firefly, a phototherapy device that cures jaundice in newborns.  in 21 developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. These devices have already treated over 50,000 newborns and will treat at least 230,000 over their lifetime.

So how did DtM get here? In 2009, the DtM team visited the town of Bac Giang, Vietnam. They found themselves in a hot and crowded NICU. They brought with them one of the first prototypes of Firefly, The doctors at the NICU told the DtM team that they really liked that the Firefly lights were so much brighter than conventional phototherapy devices, which meant they could successfully treat their most severely jaundiced patients.  They encouraged the DtM team to refine the Firefly bassinet so that it would be easier to clean and carry between hospital wards.  They also stressed how important it was that Firefly look like a modern medical device—that no hospital would want to use the device if it looked cheap.  All of the Bac Giang team’s input was incorporated to today’s Firefly design.

By understanding the needs of the rural hospitals first hand, the team created a medical device that is easy to use and keep clean, but also met the standards of the medical professionals treating these newborns in rural hospitals worldwide.

Design that Matters is applying what they learned in Bac Giang to their design mindset. Just because a medical facility is in an emerging country doesn’t mean they will accept devices that do not look like top of the line medical equipment. DtM learned that if you want people to trust the device, the device has to look trustworthy.

Outfitting global, rural hospitals requires reliable machinery.

Creating designs that change the world is a lofty undertaking, but DtM is doing just that. With the help of the ThinkStation P910, packed with Inte® Xeon® processors and the NVIDIA Quadro® M5000 graphics card, the DtM team is able to create CAD design models to be 3D printed for testing and manufacturing. In addition the team leans on the ThinkPad P40 Yoga to sketch and share design additions and changes on the fly. These changes can be easily incorporated to CAD files shared across the globe.

For more on Firefly and other projects at Design that Matters visit their website:

 “Design for inspiration does not work. I want to design for outcomes because I want to make the world a better place.” -Timothy Prestero, CEO, Design that Matters