Jaundice is the main cause of readmission to hospital for newborn babies, and while it is relatively easy to treat, the developers of Brilliance estimate that over six million babies worldwide are not receiving effective medical care to treat their symptoms.
If jaundice is caught early, the only treatment it requires is an intense blue light on the baby’s skin. If the condition goes untreated the symptoms can become more dangerous and lead to severe brain damage or even death.
Clinics in developing countries clinics often can’t afford the expensive phototherapy equipment that administers jaundice babies with blue-light treatment. The apparatus is traditionally expensive to buy and costly to maintain. The most costly component of the machines to replace is the six special fluorescent bulbs, which cost around $15 each and only last for around four months. Many machines in poor community clinics are missing one or more of these essential bulbs.
Brilliance, designed by San Francisco-based nonprofit D-Rev, is a phototherapy device that is manufactured in India and is designed to help supply the poorest communities with effective phototherapy machines. Brilliance devices use LED lights that last 60 times longer than the fluorescent bulbs and are much cheaper to replace. Brilliance can also withstand fluctuations in the power supply without any effect on the performance.
Brilliance has been designed to be versatile and easily combined with any other newborn care equipment: integrating easily with incubators and other newborn warmers.
As of mid 2015, over 80 000 babies have been treated with Brilliance machines, 70 000 of whom would not otherwise have survived. Brilliance devices have been installed in 15 countries across the developing world, including India, South Africa, Nigeria and Peru.
Images courtesy of D-Rev.