Make a Difference TodayDonate to D-Rev
Make a Difference TodayDonate to D-Rev

D-Rev

D-Rev (from “Design Revolution”) designs and delivers affordable, innovative medical devices that protect and transform lives of the global poor. Their current products are the ReMotion Knee (a prosthetic device) and the Brilliance phototherapy machine for treating jaundice in newborns.

D-Rev addresses global health inequities, recognizing that health is a prerequisite to autonomy and self-sufficiency.

The Problem

Lack of access to high-quality, affordable medical devices for hospitals and clinicians serving the world’s poor. This healthcare gap results in illness, suffering and mortality, and an ever-spiraling trap of poverty.

Specific problems D-Rev currently focuses on:

Severe jaundice: In industrialized countries, newborn jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes due to excess bilirubin) is usually easily treated with phototherapy (a specialized intense blue light). In developing countries however, phototherapy machines are not nearly as accessible, partly due to costs upwards of $3,000. Over 6 million babies with severe jaundice are not receiving adequate treatment, according to an assessment by Stanford and D-Rev. When severe jaundice goes untreated, it can lead to crippling brain damage.

Prosthetics: In the developing world, trauma, disease, and natural disasters result in hundreds of thousands of new amputees per year. Millions of amputees in low-resource areas do not have access to affordable, high-quality prosthetics that would allow them to lead healthier, more productive lives. Cheap knees can be unsteady, especially a problem for those in low-income environments having to often perform difficult labor and negotiate uneven surfaces and crowded areas.

The Solution

Assessing real “on the ground” needs and gaps for medical devices, then designing and delivering high quality, low-cost products that are easily accessed by medical providers and patients. Quality medical treatment supports health, productivity and independence.

D-Rev’s Brilliance phototherapy lamp costs $400-$500 and uses LED bulbs which rarely need replacing. 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.

D-Rev’s ReMotion knee costs about $80, with features that would normally be found in more expensive prosthetics, like friction control and “extension assist,” which helps the knee move.

How D-Rev is different from other charities

D-Rev is the only portfolio nonprofit medical device company. Their work covers the medical device process from identification of need to design, scaled delivery, measurement of impact and effectiveness, and continual improvement based on findings. Further, D-Rev leverages the market, rather than being reliant on donations to drive their work. Because they are involved in selling their products, they are accountable to purchasers and users in designing the most appropriate products.

Why D-Rev is effective

Cost-effectiveness

An assessment by rigorous charity evaluator ImpactMatters found D-Rev’s cost-effectiveness to be $26 per Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY) as an organization and $580/DALY for all stakeholders. ImpactMatters says D-Rev’s Brilliance device, “is a cost-effective component of inpatient medical care, offering meaningful savings vis-à-vis commercially available devices.” The D-Rev model has also helped drive down the cost of more expensive brands.

D-REV's work designing and launching products is done on a very modest budget of under $2 million, with a lean eleven-member staff.

Monitoring and evaluation

The ImpactMatters audit found that D-Rev has an exceptional research and development process, noting that, “Decisions to implement changes were supported by high-quality data and were arrived at systematically.” D-Rev currently has studies planned or underway in Rwanda, Nepal and in several states in India. D-Rev disseminates its knowledge and learning as an important part of its goal of contributing to closing healthcare gaps.

Proven results

The ImpactMatters audit found there is “strong clinical evidence” that phototherapy as well as prostheses such as D-Rev’s ReMotion Knee improve respective medical outcomes.

Impact and Scale

Since D-Rev’s first product came on the market in 2013, 330,700 patients in 57 countries have been treated with their devices. 330,500 babies have been treated with Brilliance, most of whom would not have otherwise had access to effective treatment, which D-Rev estimates thistranslates to 4,400 deaths and disabilities averted. D-Rev plans to expand its portfolio to a total of 7 products in 4 lines by 2020.

They have a large presence in India, where their devices were adopted early on, and Brilliance is now scaling in other countries; by the end of 2018, every hospital with a NICU in Rwanda will be outfitted with the Brilliance device.

D-Rev also has important indirect impact. Prices on similar products have been seen to come down in markets that D-Rev has entered, and the organization’s designs serve as models for others. While D-Rev’s products are sold for a profit (which is then reinvested in research and development), they prioritize impact and sustainable scaling over revenue. Their plan is to exit projects once they believe scaling is sustainably on track to close the global health inequity, which they expect will be 5-7 years after launch of a given product.

D-Rev’s accountability and sustainability

D-Rev was named laureate in the Health category of The Tech Awards 2016, where the Silicon Valley based Tech Museum recognized D-Rev as the “best of the best” for the benefit D-Rev’s technology brings to Humanity. It was also named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2013. Its partners include Stanford School of Medicine, USAID, UKaid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

D-Rev puts high value on accountability and transparency. They requested a rigorous audit by ImpactMatters, receiving high marks in Evidence and Monitoring, and excellent marks in Learning. They regularly update their impact data display it on D-Rev’s impact dashboards. They also publish their algorithms for estimating impact.

Because they are involved in selling their products, D-Rev is accountable to purchasers and users in designing the most appropriate products.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will D-Rev use my donation?

D-Rev uses donor dollars for product research and development and impact assessment. Supporting this type of early-stage product development work means a donor’s impact per dollar is especially high and meaningful. You are helping to assess real-world needs and create real-world solutions.

Why does my donation not pay for the devices themselves?

D-Rev’s model is to allow market need and assessment to drive its work, rather than donor dollars supporting products that may not actually be effective in their design or in addressing healthcare gaps. That said, if a donor has a particular interest in subsidizing device costs for a particular project, they are welcome to contact D-Rev to discuss possible options.

What are the next devices in the D-Rev pipeline?

D-Ref is developing solutions that target nutrition, respiratory distress, and other critical health areas that result in preventable death and disability. The two new devices currently being developed address newborn respiratory support and newborn nutrition.

How does DREV assess which devices to create and market?

To select the disease areas they work in, D-Rev uses the Global Burden of Disease database to highlight areas that most affect the poor, then does extensive research with target users (doctors, nurses, key opinion leaders, policy makers, etc.) to understand their priorities. With Brilliance, they were first alerted to the need for affordable quality phototherapy by an Indian doctor who saw babies suffering brain damage and dying from jaundice, which no one was tackling it in a meaningful way. D-Rev’s research found a gap in healthcare, with many pediatricians and neonatologists ranking this in their top 3-5 needs.

With ReMotion, the Jaipur Foot Organization (the largest fitter of prosthetics in India serving low-income population), approached a class at Stanford. D-Rev absorbed the student project and conducted similar research to that for Brilliance to verify and better understand the need.

How do D-Rev devices compare to others on the market?

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How long do the devices last?

The Brilliance device can last for 20 years and the ReMotion knee is expected to last 3-5 years, the industry standard.

Why does The Life You Can Save recommend D-Rev?

We recommend D-Rev because they have successfully passed a rigorous “Impact Audit” conducted by Impact Matters.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

D-Rev has 501(c)(3) status in the United States, and is tax-deductible for eligible donors. Eligible UK donors can claim Gift Aid by donating to D-Rev through The Life You Can Save UK here.

What will your impact be?

Find out using our Impact Calculator.

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