Krista Donaldson wants the world's poorest people--those living on less than $4 per day--to benefit from good health care. And she believes product design can help. "A lot of people we're targeting haven't been in an intensive-care setting before, and these devices are frightening," she says. So her not-for-profit, D-Rev, designs top-quality health care products that can be affordably built, then finds distributors to bring them to market. Last year, D-Rev released its second product, Brilliance, a phototherapy lamp for infant jaundice that sells for $400 (rather than $3,000, which is what competing products cost). That goal required striking a fine balance:
DROP THE SCIENCE FICTION
One early version proposed a
silicon blanket with embedded LEDs. A later one was more lamp-like but had a bulbous head that made it look like an alien. Doctor feedback helped D-Rev create a device that wouldn't repel patients.
CUT IRRELEVANT COSTS
Early prototypes had curves that were costly to manufacture and had to be redesigned. Also, D-Rev engineered a cooling system that requires no fan.
DESIGN FOR THE LONG-TERM
D-Rev installed new, more efficient LEDs to let Brilliance run 66% longer on a battery system than the previous design.
[Krista Donaldson Photo by Jason Madara]