OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Bridging the Healthcare Gap for Guyanese Babies

We designed Brilliance phototherapy units which, were distributed across Guyana by Guyana Save the Kids, improving treatment times and risk.

Photo of Eka
2 1

Written by

In Guyana 36% of the population lives below the international poverty line of less than US$1.75 per day. There’s a lack of experienced, Guyana-trained healthcare professionals because doctors often leave to work for higher pay in other countries. Those that stay confront a lack of medicine, medical supplies, and medical devices. They provide the best care they can and make do with donated supplies or creatively re-purpose what they have on hand. For instance, they use surgical face masks to cover infants’ eyes during phototherapy instead of infant-sized eye protectors. Often, donated devices sit unused because they are broken and no replacement parts are available.

D-Rev designs and delivers radically affordable medical devices that close the quality healthcare gap. 35 Brilliance units were purchased by Guyana Save the Kids [KMD1] and placed in hospitals throughout Guyana over several years. The effects have been immediate. Earlier this year, D-Rev volunteers Skip and Laurie Skipper visited hospitals in Guyana to check their usage and collect data and insights for D-Rev.

“In 2015, after we received the Brilliance phototherapy units, baby deaths from jaundice dropped to zero,” said Dr. Winsome Scott, the Head of Pediatrics at Georgetown Hospital, the largest hospital in the country.

D-Rev believes that everyone deserves quality healthcare and we are putting world-class devices into the hands of medical professionals so that they can treat their patients. As one of the Guyanese doctors who have used Brilliance, Dr. Bynoe, said: “Getting better equipment gives the doctors the energy to go higher and puts a bounce in their steps.”

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Designing a product that addresses a social need or gap requires taking a systems-approach, not simply designing a product. We leveraged several partners for distribution and designed products not just for the patients, but for the clinicians who use it.

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

As part of our design process, we customer value chain analysis to understand all the users or customers. From there we are able to map out use cases to work with them to prioritize needs.

Tell us about yourself:

We believe that no one should suffer or die from an easily treatable illness or condition—and that there are tools, technology, and know-how to achieve that. D-Rev (Design Revolution) is a nonprofit.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Eka !

There is 1 week left to submit ideas to the New Life Challenge. It would be great to see you and your ideas there.

The deadline for idea submission is Sunday at 3 pm PST on September 24.

Please email me if you have any questions -'Pregnant women and new mothers feel watched and judged' 

View all comments