Coming Soon: Lessons from the Design and Launch of Firefly, with Support from the Lemelson Foundation

During Summer/Fall 2014, we look forward to presenting a series of essays sharing the lessons learned designing and launching Firefly Newborn Phototherapy. This blog series is made possible with support from The Lemelson Foundation in celebration of their 20-year history of improving lives through invention.

With visionary support from The Lemelson Foundation 2011-2013, Design that Matters formed a partnership with East Meets West Foundation and Vietnamese manufacturer Medical Technology Transfer and Services to design, test, manufacture, and deliver innovations to serve the needs of poor communities around the world. Our first product is Firefly Newborn Phototherapy, a world-class technology to treat newborns with jaundice. 

Firefly has won many awards including the Edison Award Gold, the top Spark! design award, IDSA IDEA Silver, and was featured in the October 2013 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award issue. Firefly is listed in the 2013 World Health Organization Compendium of Medical Devices highlighting the most innovative health technologies for low resource settings. 

As of June 1 2014, Firefly devices have treated over 3,000 newborns in Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, East Timor, Thailand, Malaysia, and Ghana. Together, we expect to distribute at least 1,000 Firefly devices, reaching over 500,000 newborns.

Design that Matters would like to express our sincere thanks to our Firefly project partners the East Meets West Foundation and Vietnamese manufacturer Medical Technology Transfer and Services. Their partnership made Firefly possible.

Additional thanks to Firefly’s lead donors: The Lemelson Foundation, The van Otterloo Family, Bohemian Foundation, an anonymous donor, ANT Italy - Friends of Trento Neonatology, The Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy, and Martin and Debbie Hale.