The high tech wizards from D-Rev design vital medical equipment for those people who live on less than four dollars a day. What does that include? A milling machine, a laser cutting machine, a 3D printer and a climate chamber made out of a wine refrigerator to test the effects of moisture, temperature or sand on prototypes.
From that, D-Rev builds blue light lamps to help treat jaundiced new borns in African and Asian countries or prosthetic knees for patients in India. Important equipment is often financially out of reach for many hospitals across the world while cheaper options, particularly in the case of prosthetics, are of such inferior quality that they are often not used or they are not adapted to the often extreme climatic conditions in certain developing countries, since they were developed in and for Europe and North America.
D-Rev begins their production process by identifying a problem that lacks a suitable solution. Then, they check how economical the necessary product is and uses a design thinking approach (heavily focussed on usability and the end-users needs on wants) to construct prototypes that are tailored to specific regions. If the product developed by D-Rev is suitable for mass production, D-Rev then seeks partners for manufacturing, distribution, sales and maintenance. To this end, D-Rev has survived in the market without subsidies and donations, which are normally the primary means of funding research and development in the non-profit world.
Even if this means not every solution is implemented, D-Rev’s products are nonetheless a blessing for many people: the organisation has delivered 6,000 knee prostheses and 510 blue light lamps.
Check out what the New York Times had to say about D-Rev: Light Bulb Moments for Nonprofit