A phototherapy device designed specifically to allow rural hospitals with limited resources and inexperienced staff to successfully treat otherwise healthy newborns for jaundice


The world’s most effective newborn phototherapy device for low-resource hospitals

Designed to Be

Hard to use wrong, Simple to clean,  Radically effective | Energy-efficient | Easy to move, Functional for five years 24/7 use

The Objective

To find out the point of leverage that will have the greatest impact on the overall system  

1. Current Firefly

Stock and Flow Chart*

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When babies are born, from which some healthy jaundice are put into overcrowded hospitals - eventually leading to various infections and making them unhealthy


Here is where firefly comes in and helps them make into healthy babies


Mind Map with Opportunities

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2. Future Firefly

Places to Intervene (By Donella Meadows)*

  1. Constraints, parameters, numbers (Cost, product lifespan)

  2. The size of buffers and other stabilizing stocks

  3. Structure of material stocks and flows

  4. Length of delays, relative to the rate of system changes

  5. Strength of negative feedback loops

  6. Gain around driving positive feedback loops (Increase distribution through NGOs, etc)

  7. Structure of information flow (Increase global presence and number of manual languages)

  8. Rules of the system

  9. Power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure (Local production)

  10. The goal of the system (Treat all jaundice babies)

  11. Mindset or paradigm that the system arises from

  12. Power to transcend paradigms

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Opportunity: Local Production for Firefly (9)
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Envisioned a self-sustaining system in which Firefly trains local medical and technical experts to build Fireflys for their own communities


In doing this, Firefly will become less expensive and more widespread. Moreover, the Fireflys can potentially be fixed more quickly if parts break for a longer-lasting product

Opportunity: Firefly for Unhealthy Jaundice Babies (10)
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Due to incubation constraints, Fireflys can only currently help healthy jaundice babies. Now that Firefly has seen success, we would like to see the company extend its goal to treating all jaundice babies


Though these babies will still face other ailments, a treatment solution that can be used in tandem with incubation would enable them to take one step closer to good health and development



What is a Systems Map

  • Stocks indicate the state of being at a point in time (shown as boxes)

  • The flows represent activities, exist over time (arrow-headed pipes)

  • The circle on each flow signifies a faucet 

  • The clouds stands for wherever the flows come from and go to 

How to think about innovation in

 terms of systems?

  • From the Book Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows*, we (a team of three) studied an innovation 'Firefly's phototherapy device'

  • Researched and ideated on how a single idea can affect the other systems in place. Measured the overall progress through leveraging points exercise and systems mapping