Blog Post

February 10, 2013 Krista Donaldson

What We Do—and Why

Imagine a world where everyone, everywhere could have access to world-class innovation that could change—or save—lives, without the barriers of price or functionality. Those barriers are what almost always accompany medical technology, designed for high-income environments, when it arrives in most parts of the world.

Until recently, ‘imagine’ was the key word in this vision. Sure, donated and recycled medical devices do often find their way to the far reaches of humanity, fueled by good intentions and the desire to improve global living conditions. But often these devices, designed to perform where power is constant and temperatures don’t fluctuate, don’t deliver the needed impact in their new settings. Expensive and often unavailable replacement parts, as well as servicing and training complexities, limit the ability of these devices to do the good work they were intended—and designed—to do.

New York Times photo

Photo from the New York Times of three newborns being treated with ineffective white light phototherapy – 9 November 2012. Credit: Jes Aznar for the International Herald Tribune

If a medical device is providing negligible care—the impact is negative care. Take for example, this photo (left) from the New York Times in November 2012 of three babies being treated for jaundice in white light—rather than the needed high-intensity blue light. Jaundice is extremely time sensitive—and while many children recover without treatment—many also do not. Dr. Praveen Kumar, a leading neonatologist at India’s PGI-Chandigarh Medical College, has reported patients arriving with kernicterus (brain damage) even though they had already been treated with phototherapy. (As a sidenote, the NYT caption reads “Newborn babies with skin discoloration are treated in a makeshift photo therapy box. [sic]”, reflecting the widespread lack of knowledge around hyperbilirubinemia, or severe jaundice.)

For our medical devices, D-Rev uses design to bring affordable innovation to people in all corners of the globe and in all layers of the economic pyramid. Committed to uncompromising safety, quality, performance and usability, we uphold the highest design and engineering standards while rethinking the products that deliver medical solutions.

The results? High-impact, affordable products that bring value to our customers and users, reflecting our commitment to world-class quality and market-driven solutions to medical problems.

Brilliance, for example, outshines other phototherapy devices when it comes to reliably and affordably treating jaundice—and preventing the lifelong damage of kernicterus—in hospitals. Brilliance entered the market in India in November, and has already treated more than 250 babies. We receive reports of units being sold through private sector distributers to hospitals in other countries, like the Philippines—and now our partner Phoenix is back-ordered. The need—and the demand—are great.

Vishumbar

Vishumbar sits cross-legged wearing the JaipurKnee

In India and in other countries—Ecuador, Senegal, Iraq, and Fiji to name a few—D-Rev’s ReMotion Knee, is helping to remobilize above-knee amputees. Not only can they walk (and work, or study, or care for their families) again, they can do things that standard prosthetics often don’t enable: riding a bike, comfortably sitting cross-legged, squatting and praying.

This is only the beginning. Our commitment to think globally and design powerfully is making a difference with people who might not otherwise have access to world-class products—and with that, real life-changing opportunities. We too are inspired by others in the medical device community who challenge their own assumptions about what makes great user-centric design. Our passionate belief that revolutionary design changes the lives of people living on less than $4 per day delivers another form of impact: designing for global access can result in great products in every market—and improved health for everyone.

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