Little Sparrows Technologies

Designing for the World’s Tiniest Humans

  • Capabilities Used
  • Strategy
  • User Experience
  • Industrial Design
  • Engineering

One in six infants are diagnosed with jaundice, a symptom of an underdeveloped liver, which can lead to permanent neurological injury. The phototherapy treatment which bathes the infant in blue light requires extended hospitalization. Often this means a return to the NICU after an otherwise safe arrival home.

The portable Bili-hut for treating jaundice is re-designed to save more infants while improving the family and caregiver experience - all while reducing hospital costs.

Today’s Treatment

The treatment involves large, intimidating equipment, placing the infant inside a plexiglass box for days at a time. The additional hospitalization is costly. And parents just want to take their baby home.

Developing A New In Home Care Solution

The team at Little Sparrows Technology took on the challenge of developing an effective, safe, treatment technique that is accessible in the hospital, the home, and the most remote regions of the world. They worked with doctors and engineers to develop the Bili-Hut, the world’s first ever portable high-intensity jaundice treatment. This little device utilized LED technology, allowing for an effective and portable treatment option for those in hospitals and at home.

When the Little Sparrows Technology team came to Altitude, they had a product that had the potential to save lives across the globe.

But there was something missing.

The device, while a technical marvel, was designed for portability and efficacy. The Bili-Hut was still medical in its experience, and didn’t take into account the multiple users involved in the care of jaundice infants, most importantly the parents or caregivers.

This is where the team at Altitude came in. We understood the powerful impact the Bili-Hut could provide parents on a global scale. We understood the ways in which this device could change the outcome for so many babies and families. And we understood that we needed to help fundamentally shift the experience of having a jaundice baby.

Designing an Experience

When the team at Altitude received the Bili-Hut, our job was to design a product that was a credible, effective medical device while also being portable and having a personal, natural presence in a child’s nursery.

We quickly realized that there was an opportunity to reexamine the design of the product and reimagine what the Bili-Hut might look like if the human experience was placed at the center of its design process. We began by thinking about each user of the product, starting from the person transporting the Bili-Hut, the individuals setting it up, to the infant who would be placed under the lights and most importantly, the caregiver who is often a new parent.

In shifting our perspective to each of the user’s experience we were able to reimagine the Bili-Hut. Creating a device that not only met the original design constraints of portability and efficacy, but helped to fundamentally shift the experience of caring for an infant with jaundice.

One of the first design elements Altitude revised was to develop a shield to help bring the baby’s head into full view of the caregiver. And the flaps that the Altitude team developed with Little Sparrows Technology not only help to keep the baby’s face visible, but also to keep more light directed towards the babies’ vital organs. And the series of warning lights that we added go off if the product overheats.

This fundamentally shifts the experience of caring for a child with jaundice. Parents can now not only see their child and know they are safe, but they can also see and be alerted when their child is in distress.

Altitude both designs and builds products. We built a safe, useful product that integrates layers of fabrics with the electronics. In considering each user in the product development process, the team at Altitude vastly improved the experience of caring for a child with jaundice.

Through a human-centered design approach, with consideration for every user, Altitude and Little Sparrows developed an entirely new jaundice treatment experience. It is a solution for hospitals that reduces the cost of treatment, unburdens resources and improves efficacy; and a solution for parents that allows them to be closer to their baby and more comfortably and safely start their new lives as a family at home.