The problem: lack of access to high-quality, affordable medical devices
When hospitals and clinicians serving the world’s poor can’t treat their patients with the right equipment, the result is enduring illness, suffering, mortality, and an ever-spiraling trap of poverty.
Take jaundice, one of Equalize Health’s focus areas. Jaundice is caused by an excess of bilirubin in the blood. In high-income countries, newborn jaundice is easily treated with phototherapy and rarely leads to kernicterus — a type of preventable brain damage which can occur if severe jaundice goes untreated.
In low- and middle-income countries, however, kernicterus ranks as the seventh leading cause of mortality in newborns.  According to an assessment by Stanford University and Equalize Health, over, six million babies with severe jaundice are not receiving adequate treatment.  This is because effective phototherapy machines are not nearly as accessible, partly due to costs upwards of US$3,000.
The solution: designing and delivering cost-effective medical products and technologies to health providers and patients
This requires a real, on-the-ground assessment of the needs of emerging markets to support health, productivity, and independence — and then taking action.
Equalize Health’s flagship product, Brilliance, is a high-quality, low-cost phototherapy lamp that uses LED bulbs which do not need replacing.  Equalize Health first learned about the need for affordable, quality phototherapy from an Indian doctor who saw babies suffering brain damage and dying from jaundice. It was a problem no one was tackling in a meaningful way. Equalize Health went on to discover many pediatricians and neonatologists ranked this in their top 3-5 needs, and worked to close the gap.
In 2016, Brilliance was named the “best health innovation to benefit humanity” by the Tech Museum as part of their 15-year retrospective of the social sector.
How Equalize Health works
Equalize Health is a unique portfolio non-profit medical device company. Their work covers the full medical device development process, from identification of need through design and scaled delivery, then measurement of impact and effectiveness, and continual improvement. Donations to Equalize Health fund their research and development process.
This approach allows Equalize Health to scale via the market, rather than rely exclusively on donations to drive their work. Equalize Health currently has studies planned or underway in Rwanda, Nepal, and in several states in India.