International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Design That Matters Inc

Quick Facts

aka DTM

Salem, MA

Mission

Design that Matters (DtM) collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to solve problems in global health for the poor in developing countries. DtM is recognized as an international leader in human-centered design, rapid prototyping and cost-effective low-volume manufacturing. This allows us to deliver breakthrough global health technologies to niche markets in poor countries at a fraction of the traditional R&D investment. DtM's track record demonstrates our ability to deliver social impact in the face of market failure.

DtM's work has been featured in the New York Times and on CNN, and in 2012 the company received the National Design Award during lunch at the White House with Michelle Obama. DtM is currently developing three new programs for massive impact, including a package of innovations to address pneumonia, the leading cause of childhood mortality.

DtM's most recent product launch is the Firefly Newborn Phototherapy device to transform newborn health care systems and prevent disability and death due to newborn jaundice. This innovative device pays for itself in health care system savings within the first two years of use, by reducing treatment times and in some cases averting the need for expensive and risky exchange blood transfusions.

As of March 2016, DtM partners Thrive Health and Vietnamese manufacturing partner MTTS have installed Firefly in 20 developing countries across Asia (Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), sub-Saharan Africa (Benin, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe) and the Caribbean (Haiti). These devices have already treated over 36,000 newborns. DtM and our partners expect to distribute at least 1,000 Firefly devices, reaching over 500,000 newborns.

Ruling Year

2004

CEO, Co-Founder

Mr. Timothy Prestero

Main Address

30 Church Street

Salem, MA 01970 USA

Keywords

Sustainable Development, Product Design, Economic Development, Education, Healthcare

EIN

30-0172078

 Number

2438879879

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Management & Technical Assistance (Q02)

Engineering and Technology Research, Services (U40)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Otter conductive warmer for hypothermic newborns

Pelican pulse oximeter

Echo remote monitoring

Firefly infant phototherapy

Where we workNew!

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Design that Matters (DtM) collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to solve problems in global health for the poor in developing countries. DtM is recognized as an international leader in human-centered design, rapid prototyping and cost-effective low-volume manufacturing. This allows us to deliver breakthrough global health technologies to niche markets in poor countries at a fraction of the traditional R&D investment. DtM's track record demonstrates our ability to deliver social impact in the face of market failure.

In the last five years, the organization has focused on maternal and newborn health. An international leader in human-centered design, rapid prototyping, and cost-effective low-volume manufacturing, DtM delivers products that account for the context of low-resource settings. DtM harnesses top-tier talent in design, engineering, and business through a collaborative design process that has allowed hundreds of students and professional volunteers to donate their expertise to developing breakthrough products for communities in need.

DtM's most recent product launch is the Firefly Newborn Phototherapy device. Firefly prevents disability and death due to newborn jaundice. It pays for itself in health care system savings within the first two years of use, by reducing treatment times and in some cases averting the need for expensive and risky exchange blood transfusions. As of March 2016, DtM partners Thrive Health and Vietnamese manufacturing firm MTTS have installed Firefly in twenty developing countries across Asia (Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), Sub-Saharan Africa (Benin, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda), and the Caribbean (Haiti). These devices have already treated over 35,000 newborns. DtM and our partners expect to distribute at least 1,000 Firefly devices, reaching over 500,000 newborns.

Following the launch and scale of Firefly, DtM has built a pipeline of new projects in global health, focusing on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in maternal, newborn, and child health. We are now developing three new products:

Pelican is a diagnostic tool for newborns with pneumonia, a leading cause of death among children under five.

Otter is a compact warming device--small enough to fit inside the bassinet of Firefly--for hypothermic premature and low-birth-weight babies. This is an opportunity to address the one million newborn deaths each year in developing countries that are attributed to newborn hypothermia in the first week of life.

Echo is an “internet of things" data service for the remote monitoring and evaluation of donated medical equipment in resource-poor settings. Echo is a response to the WHO's statistic that up to 80% of donated medical devices in the developing world are never even turned on.

Each DtM project goes through four phases:

Phase One: Research (initial user and market validation)
Phase Two: Prototype (alpha prototype that looks-like, works-like)
Phase Three: Pilot (prototype testing with manufacture and distribution partners)
Phase Four: Scale (production and international distribution)

In each phase, our goal is to increase our confidence that the project is a match for DtM's capabilities, that there exists real market demand for the intervention, and that a successful product will create significant and lasting social impact. At every stage, we are iterating on every aspect of the design, including the user experience, the product engineering specifications and the expected manufacturing process.

DtM always has a point of view in how to solve difficult problems. This unifying project vision is developed from:
--rigorous user and market research
--carefully-selected implementation partners
--open and collaborative design process
Our concepts are distinct from other failed solutions for the social sector. Through this, we built strong track record in creating breakthrough products that truly benefit people.

All-or-none: Unlike other design consultancies, DtM commits to driving the design process all the way through production, distribution and implementation. DtM transforms our partner social enterprises in the process and creates a ripple effect of impact resonating throughout the world. We consider our scaling model in terms of our ability “infect and replicate." Firefly infant phototherapy donations in Myanmar led the Ministry of Health to issue a revised phototherapy RFP, requesting double-sided phototherapy, for a major government purchase. Systems-level change like this ultimately creates an incentive for major manufacturers to follow DtM's lead.

DtM also has a growing network of over 1,200 staff and volunteer alumni who have embraced the organization's mission and extend DtM's impact. The DtM project experience is, for many volunteers, their first exposure to problems faced by people in poor communities. Many DtM alumni have realigned their life trajectories to focus on careers in the social sector.

For human-centered design to be successful, we must follow the same systems-design approach pioneered during the Apollo space program. Apollo engineers didn't design rockets: they designed the whole series of processes and technologies necessary to get someone to the Moon and back. DtM doesn't design products: we design social outcomes. This means understanding not just how a doctor or nurse might use a medical device, but also how the product will be financed, manufactured and distributed. For each product, we design a network of partnerships that will allow to understand and resolve the issue.

Founder and CEO of Design that Matters and, codesigner of Firefly, Tim Prestero has led design and global projects in 20 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia. Tim holds two MS degrees in engineering from MIT. DtM has built a network of experts in design, engineering, neonatology, and global health at IDEO, MIT, Harvard University, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Thrive Health (formerly the East Meets West Foundation), and other corporate academic partnering institutions. We collaborate with domain experts in the US and our social enterprise partners abroad at all stages of the development process. We also have many contacts with potential purchasers and distributors and networking organizations such as the MDG Health Alliance, and the World Health Organization. With this network combined with outsource manufacturing partners like MTTS in Vietnam and e-Bi in China, the current manufacturers of Firefly, DtM can nimbly deliver competitive products in niche markets. The Firefly project made us experts and leaders in this space. Design that Matters has developed the resources, capabilities, and track record. Now, we are harnessing the power of design to fight pneumonia, hypothermia, and other urgent global health issues. We will apply what we have learned and replicate that success to solve the biggest challenges in global health.

DtM finds the best opportunities to apply design and technology to benefit the poor in the developing world. We select projects where the intersection between DtM's organizational capabilities and the environment has the potential to create massive social impact. We use several frameworks to evaluate external and internal risks throughout the product development process.

DtM tracks the beneficiaries of our products and of products our team has helped design and launch. We leverage the resources of implementation partners to conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation. For example, Dr. Priscilla Joe, Clinical Advisor to Thrive Networks and Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, oversees impact assessment for the Breath of Life program, which includes Firefly newborn phototherapy devices. We have also conducted break-even analyses to assess the cost-effectiveness of our products.

Most importantly for impact measurement, DtM selects manufacturing and distribution partners with rigorous assessment methods in the field. For example, DtM partners Thrive Networks and MTTS have ongoing measurement tools for impact assessment in place, which allows us to track the effectiveness of the Firefly newborn phototherapy device. Clinical advisor to Thrive Networks and the Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Dr. Priscilla Joe oversees impact assessment for the Breath of Life program, which includes Firefly. Sample program outcomes that Dr. Joe recently published include:

Sample Proven Program Outcomes:
--68% reduction in exchange blood transfusions for inborns, 38% reduction for outborns in Myanmar.
--Reduces burden for tertiary hospitals as secondary hospitals become better equipped to manage neonates.
--Relieves families from going to multiple hospitals during critical time of need by ensuring continuum of care.
--Strengthens health systems capacity to deliver neonatal care as train-the-trainer approach expands to additional hospitals.

Our partners for Firefly train data collectors in each country on monitoring and evaluation to measure and increase impact in the hospitals in which we work. Their monitoring and evaluation capacity allows the team to rapidly identify issues, adapt the program based on observed needs, and assess program effectiveness. MTTS, our manufacturing partner conducts routine service calls with hospital staff to detect and resolve issues quickly. MTTS shares feedback on how the device is performing in the field.

DtM has successfully launched and scaled several products, including the Firefly infant phototherapy device, which is in 20 countries and has treated more than 35,000 newborns.

Now, we are focused on the launch and scale of our three new products. We have complete initial prototyping and user testing for each of these products. Our next steps are to validate and pilot the devices:

--For global health organizations who are dissatisfied with the inefficiency and lack of transparency associated with medical equipment donations, Echo is a remote-monitoring technology that provides equipment-use data to identify when and which rural hospitals need additional devices, additional training or product maintenance. Unlike follow-up site visits and phone calls, Echo provides continuous, real-time data on the status and social impact of donated medical equipment.

--For global health NGOs focused on infant health who want to treat patients at the point of diagnosis rather than risk transporting them to crowded central facilities, Otter is a newborn conductive warmer designed specifically to allow rural hospitals with limited resources and inexperienced staff to successfully treat premature newborns who are especially vulnerable to hypothermia. Unlike the high-end incubators a rural hospital might receive as donations or the inexpensive radiant warmers they might receive through a government purchase, the Otter Warmer provides effective newborn warming that is “easy to use right and hard to use wrong"--in other words the device eliminates the most common sources of product failure.

--For global health NGOs focused on reducing newborn mortality that want to facilitate the diagnosis of pneumonia during patient home visits, Pelican is a pulse oximeter and respiratory rate timer designed specifically to allow inexperienced community health workers (CHWs) to conduct pneumonia spot-checks. Unlike conventional pulse oximeters that can be difficult to use and interpret, the Pelican pulse oximeter is "easy to use right and hard to use wrong." In other words, Pelican eliminates the most common sources of user error and provides unambiguous action prompts for CHWs.

Our Firefly newborn phototherapy device has received numerous awards include the Edison Gold Award and the Spark! Award. DtM's NeoNurture Infant Incubator was Time Magazine's #1 Best Invention of 2010. CEO Tim Prestero's TEDxBoston talk, “Design for People, Not Awards," has been viewed nearly 1 million times and featured in the Netflix “Best of TED" series (see: https://www.ted.com/talks/timothy_prestero_design_for_people_not_awards). Our work has also been featured by CNN, CBS, PBS, Weekend Edition, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and many other media outlets.

External Reviews

External Assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2017)

Financials

Design That Matters Inc

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable