DtM Welcomes John Gould to Our Board of Advisors

John has an MBA from Babson College and over 30 years of successful experience in the management of high technology businesses. He served as VP Sales & Marketing for a high technology start-up that went public during his tenure and was owner and president of an international software distribution company.  

John established The Gould Family Foundation to support humanitarian organizations that serve the poor in the developing world. John is Director of the foundation. The Foundation supports the international mission work of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur including building a school, upgrading hospitals and clinics in the Congo and establishing Small Family Farm programs in Peru and the Congo. It also supports the work of IMEC, a humanitarian organization that upgrades hospitals and clinics and equips small family farms and schools in the developing world.

John serves on the Board of IMEC. He founded and is involved in the management of the Youth Mountain Adventure Program, which serves underprivileged, urban youth, with the Appalachian Mountain Club.  

MIT + RISD Pelican Team Update: Final Review

After a gruelling semester of ups and downs our MIT + RISD team has reached their final presentation, and what a presentation it was! The team’s final design addresses needs  DtM had identified from overseas and new insights the student team uncovered during research with health care providers in Boston. Their concept embodies a variety of qualities that make it suited for the developing world context, some include: 

  • All in one design: eliminates unruly cords that can be easily damaged
  • Compact, but not too small: small enough to carry around, but harder to accidentally lose
  • Constant Alignment: hinged jaw design keeps sensors aligned, no room for user error
  • Torsion Spring: pressure on baby’s foot is controlled by a spring, not the user
  • Accommodates Many Foot Sizes: hinged design allows for quick adjustment
  • Trigger: no need to fumble with band-aid style sensors, the trigger is simple and intuitive
  • Only necessary features: only settings or readings that are needed

We are incredibly proud with all that the team has accomplished this past semester, and can't wait to test the concept in the field with a variety of our internal sacrificial concepts. Thank you Aditya, Esther, Keiichi, Kevin, Leah, Phillip, Shubhang, Victoria and Wei for all of your hard work! We look forward to working with you as we move Pelican forward!

Check out a video of their concept below!

- Will Harris, IDSA
  DtM Designer

DtM Welcomes Steven P. Wentzell to Our Board of Advisors

Steve recently retired as the SVP of Human Resources for Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC), a $300M federal IT/Business Systems contractor in Andover, MA. For ten years, he was responsible for leading all aspects of DRC's human resources functions, talent acquisition, executive development and retention, internal communications and chair of the DRC Ethics Committee in support of the achieving the company's strategic business objectives. DRC was acquired by Engility Corporation in 2014.

Prior to joining DRC, Steve was a senior human resource executive within high-growth, leading- edge technology solutions organizations. As Senior Vice President for Human Resources at Brooks Automation, he was a key to the successful integration between Brooks and PRI Automation. Previous to that, he held several Human Resources leadership roles in the support of new business start-ups and high growth businesses within Digital Equipment Corporation. Steve is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Columbia University's Advanced Program in Organization Development and Human Resources Management. 

MIT + RISD Pelican Team Update: Design Review

We would like to take this opportunity to showcase the fantastic work our MIT + RISD student team been doing to ramp up Project Pelican, especially after seeing their great design review this past week. Some of the highlights include:

  • Conducting user interviews with a variety of stakeholders including local nurses and moms.
  • Creating a “works-like” prototype design with all of the electronics necessary to work as a real pulse oximeter.
  • Creating a “looks-like” prototype design that takes into account both the mechanics and usability.
  • Building new relationships with local health care providers who have experience in global health and will assist DtM throughout Project Pelican.
  • Designing the groovy Pelican logo we have adopted!

We are just weeks away from the student team’s final presentation and we can't wait to see what they produce!

- Will Harris, IDSA
  DtM Designer

MIT + RISD Pelican Team Update: Sketch Model Prototyping

This week DtM Designer, Will Harris, traveled to Providence to create some quick “sacrificial prototypes” with RISD Industrial Designers Leah Chung and Kevin Wiesner. Sacrificial prototypes are the earliest of early stage prototypes that are used in product design to illuminate what you don’t know about the problem, and more quickly reach a realistic concept. Some of our internal Pelican “sacrificial prototypes” helped us better understand that we did not fully understand the problem of medical devices accidentally “walking away” from hospitals.

During the work session the team made some big strides, which included: 

  • Making physical mock ups of the driver board the select along with different battery sizes. After doing that and seeing the actual sizes we were able to start making sketch models based upon those components.
  • Creating very simple models and embraced the free pink (blue in this occasion) foam that the RISD model shop had, and focused more on what types of forms or mechanisms that needed to create to fit different sized infant feet.
  • Were able to create six new concepts that can form to various newborn feet. 

It was an incredibly productive day that lead to some of the first student team physical concepts, allowing them to start doing user interviews at Hospitals around Boston. 

- Will Harris, IDSA
  DtM Designer

DtM and CAMTech Partner for Healthcare's Grand H@ckfest

The DtM team served as a mentor and partner for Healthcare's Grant H@ckfest. This 48-hour hackathon was hosted by MIT H@cking Medicine, the Kauffman Foundation, and CAMTech. Elizabeth gave a keynote to the more than 350 students, young entrepreneurs, engineers, and medical professionals, using the story of Firefly to illustrate the importance of developing a focused project statement. 

During the pitch sessions, DtM presented a new project idea -- a system for connecting medical devices such as Firefly to donors, hospitals, NGOs, and service technicians via sms text message. Our hackathon team, “DataWings for Firefly,” created a working data visualization prototype that won an athenahealth award. The DataWings team was so inspired by the experience that they will continue to work on the project in hopes of creating a proof of concept that we can present during 2014.

Elizabeth's talk at Healthcare's Grand H@ckfest is part of our series sharing lessons learned from the design and launch of Firefly phototherapy. This series is made possible with support from The Lemelson Foundation in celebration of 20 years of improving lives through invention.

DtM Welcomes Leith Greenslade to Our Board of Advisors

Our Board of Advisors is expanding fast! This month we are honored to announce that Leith Greenslade has joined our Board of Advisors, bumping our network of industry experts to a whole new level!

Leith is Vice Chair, Office of the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals  (MDGs) and Co-Chair of Child Health at the MDG Health Alliance, which work in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child movement to accelerate achievement of the MDGs and advance the health of women and children globally. Serving in several positions with the Australian Government, including as Policy Advisor and Speechwriter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, as Economic Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition and as Chief of Staff to the Shadow Minister for Social Security and the Status of Women, Leith holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Masters in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a First Class Honors Degree from the University of Queensland. Leith lives in New York City with her three daughters and is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of women and children.

DtM Welcomes Suzanne Graves to Our Board of Advisors

We are happy to announce that DtM donor and friend, Suzanne Graves, has joined our board of advisors! Suzanne is the first New York based member of our Board of Advisors, stretching our advisor network from Alaska to New York city! 

Suzanne manages the Machina Trading LTD family office funds, which invests in hedge funds and private equity – with a focus on angel and growth capital investing. Suzanne has fifteen years of experience in management roles with finance and technology companies both in NYC and Seattle. Suzanne is an investor and close advisor to Artivest Inc., a NYC-based financial tech company delivering curated electronic access to private funds. She serves on the Board of HalsaMD, which focuses on building facilities specializing in bariatric medicine.

Previously, Suzanne served as COO of Area 51 LLC, a market neutral hedge fund. Suzanne held management positions at CourtLink (now subsidiary of Lexis Nexis) as well as Destinations/Teren Corp. (acquired by Galileo International). She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Washington.  Suzanne lives in New York City with her husband and twin sons. Suzanne is originally from Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1975.

DtM Forms New Pelican Team at MIT + RISD

We have launched our first Project Pelican student team to tackle newborn pneumonia! The DtM Pelican project pitch attracted a nine-member multidisciplinary team from the MIT & Rhode Island School of Design Product Design and Development course.

The team, composed of industrial designers from RISD, MBA candidates from MIT Sloan, and engineers from MIT will spend the semester crafting everything from the Pelican business plan to looks-like and works-like prototypes. We are excited to welcome Leah Chung, Phillip Daniel, Keiichi Onishi, Esther Mangan, Aditya Ranjan, Shubhang Tandon, Kevin Wiesner, Wei Wu, and Victoria Young to the ever growing list of DtM collaborators. We can't wait to see what they create this semester!

- Will Harris, IDSA
  DtM Designer

DtM Welcomes David Solomon as Our New Interaction Intern

On January 23, David Solomon joined Design that Matters as our new Interaction Intern, a half-year full-time position. In his third year in Northeastern’s undergraduate Computer Engineering program, David brings eight years of rapid prototyping experience from his role as a student leader at the South End Technology Center in Boston.

David is currently in his third year at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering. He comes to DtM with experience in electronics, coding, digital design, circuit design, and fabrication from his work in the Fab Lab at South End Technology Center and his studies. His experience spans operating laser cutters, vinyl cutters, and 3D printers to using programs such as LibreOffice Draw, Inkscape, Arduino, and Eagle to design multiple projects. David has helped instruct young people in the use of Fab Lab machines, so that they can take a spontaneous idea and transform it into something tangible right before their eyes. 

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.