DtM’s Firefly is the world’s most effective newborn phototherapy device for low resource contexts --it reduces treatment times by almost 50%.

10% of all newborns worldwide require jaundice treatment to prevent death or lifelong disability. Global health experts estimate 6-10% of newborn mortality can be attributed to jaundice and complications caused by jaundice. We cannot reach Millennium Development Goal #4, a two-thirds reduction of mortality for children under five by 2015, without addressing newborn jaundice.

Phototherapy -- shining a blue light on babies’ skin -- is the most cost-effective way to treat jaundice. However, every year 5.7 million infants in South Asia and Africa do not receive any phototherapy.

In conjunction with the East Meets West Foundation (EMW) and Vietnamese manufacturer MTTS, DtM developed a new medical device to treat newborn jaundice during the critical first days of life.

Firefly Infant Phototherapy dramatically reduces infant mortality by treating mild to severe jaundice Firefly transforms national health systems by empowering local facilities, and freeing up resources in higher-level hospitals so they can better address other, more complicated conditions. 

Firefly is the first device designed to treat newborn jaundice in the mother’s room in rural clinics -- the best context to reduce staff workload, support breastfeeding, and free up critical space in overcrowded clinics. The double-sided lighting, compact size, and high-tech aesthetic make it the most effective phototherapy affordable for low-resource settings.

As of December 2014, DtM partners East Meets West Foundation (an affiliate of Thrive Networks) and Vietnamese manufacturing partner MTTS have installed Firefly in ten developing countries across Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia), Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana and Burundi), and the Caribbean (Haiti). These devices have already treated over 6,000 newborns and will treat at least 38,000 over their lifetime. DtM and our partners expect to distribute at least 1,000 Firefly devices, reaching over 500,000 newborns.

Impact in Asia


Mother care is better than nurse’s care because there are not enough nurses to cover all the infant care needs. The nurses can teach the mother how to check simple vital signs such as whether they are crying, if they are feeding and sleeping well, and if they seem too hot or too cold.
— Dr. Pham An Quang, Hai Duong Provincial Hospital
The Firefly has very good light intensity for what we need - there is a top and bottom light and it is very intense. Where other machines might take 3 days, I would imagine this should take no longer than 24 hours.
— Dr. Khuat Thanh Binh, Moc Chau District Hospital
Firefly provides very good access to the infant for bottle feeding, diaper changes, and even blood tests. We performed blood tests on each of the four infants treated so far without removing them from Firefly.
— Dr. Nguyen Thanh Ha, Director