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The Drip Clip: a life-saving, low-cost technology

Shift Labs makes low-cost medical devices for resource-limited settings. Fund the manufacture and field testing of the Drip Clip.

UPDATE:

We reached our 12K goal, which is amazing!! Thank you so much to everyone.

We're setting ourselves a stretch goal of 15K, and here's why:

We got an interesting email last week, followed up by an interesting phone call, informing us that People In The Know think there is a US market for the Drip Clip. If we're able to rally folks in the next few hours and meet our stretch goal, we could use the funds to help us file for FDA approval of the device much sooner than we anticipated! We're still trying to process all of this, but the potential sounds really exciting! It would help us build our market more rapidly, and with lower barriers to sales and marketing. 

 

Our Dream

We are a start-up company with the mission of building hyper low-cost medical devices for resource-limited settings (anywhere from hospice care to developing world clinics, disaster relief, etc). This campaign is to fund the manufacturing and field testing of our first product, the Drip Clip. 

We think there is room for more than philanthropy in the world of global health, and we want to show that if you build the right kind of solutions, then people will buy them. The Drip Clip is the first prototype developed by Shift Labs, and with your support we can gather critical user feedback to ensure the first product we sell is one people actually want. 

What is the Drip Clip? 

Our first product is a drip monitor, a replacement for expensive pumps that dose fluid from IV bags. A physician at Doctors Without Borders alerted us to the difficulty that front-line health workers in resource-limited settings often have counting IV drips by hand and then, in their heads, estimating the accurate doses of crucial medicines. 

Drip Clip concept image

To use the Drip Clip, you clip it to an IV bag and it reads instantaneously. It requires no expertise to use, but it can provide precise information. It measures drip rates by detecting variations in light transmission between an LED and photodiode. The LCD screen displays the flow rate pre-calculated to the units of mL per hour. 

Who we are 

The highly paid actors you saw in the video: Beth, Lisa, Phil, Cameron, Shevin, and Jacqueline are only a small portion of the founders, advisors, and doctors collaborating on this project. We have a crew of multidisciplinary hackers, makers, business experts and entrepreneurs contributing their passion and expertise. 

The core of Shift Labs are: 
Beth Kolko, PhD - human-centered design, ethnography, technology design for resource-limited settings 
Lisa Lafleur, PhD - diagnostic test design for resource-limited settings, microfluidics, immunoassays 
Phil Rutschman - signal processing, embedded software, electronics 
Dr. Shevin Jacob, the newest member of our core team - infectious disease specialist and WHO consultant who has spent several years practicing in resource-limited settings

We also have a larger team of talented medical professionals and engineers, and some first-rate mentors and advisors. Some of the people who help make us great are: Dr. Eric Rasmussen, Dr. Cameron Bass, Dr. Xandra Rarden, Rob Flickenger, David Hulton, Adam Cecchetti, Pablos Holman, Pierce Nichols, Matthew Borgatti, and Bre Pettis. 

Shift Labs emerged from our belief that medical technology could be more creative and less expensive -- and ultimately sustain a for-profit business model. We’d worked on technologies and products in the past, only to have them never see the light of day. We’d try; we’d take some of our work to companies with the knowledge and power to change the world, but they weren’t interested. The tipping point was having a VP at one company explain why they weren’t interested in the low-cost innovation being discussed: “we could make cheaper technology, but it wouldn't support the cost of our sales force." We believe that the world has changed enough that old models need not dominate. We think there is a space in the world where we can fuel an ethically successful and sustainable business without it being driven solely by charity and donation. We can maintain very low costs in ideation, engineering, and manufacturing so the people who need our devices most can afford them. 

What we have done so far 

Worked with doctors to identify needs in the field 
Determined low-cost solution to drop rate counting need 
Designed and validated early prototypes 
Validated electronics systems and created two board revisions

Drip Clip prototypes and test rig

What we have left to do

Finalizing the housing. We're finalizing the design with an industrial designer over the next 6-8 weeks, and concurrently we'll be shopping around for manufacturers for our production run. We’re focusing on simplicity of use, durability, and resource efficient manufacturing. 

Drip Clip assembly. We've reached out to local "Opportunity Workshops" that employ disabled workers to do electronics assembly. They do a lot of work for Boeing, so they have experience with precision assembly, and they are local so we can eliminate some of the complexities with outsourcing. 

Determine field testing goals and surveys. We want to make sure that our products pass the "want" as well as the "need" test, especially in rural areas. We'll also use our field tests to see if there are other features that are important, and how usage under real-world conditions can help us improve our design. 

Drip Clip top vew

What we'll do with the money

Fund the Manufacturing of a First Batch of Drip Clips 
Electronics - For a run of 10 - $44.84, 100 - $12.60, 1000 - $7.36, 5000 - $6.49 
Housings - Depending on the number of Drip Clips, we’ll either use resin casting (approx $3 per unit), or a small run of plastic housings (approx $3-5 per unit). We have materials to do the tooling on site for resin casting, and we would outsource for plastic housings. 
Assembly - $15/hr, 1 hr/unit 

Fund Field Testing in India and East Africa 
Sending doctors to field sites - $0 (all company advisors volunteering their time) 
Sending 2 engineers to field sites - $5000 

Our medical partners will do the testing, and Shift Labs team members will travel to help collect and analyze data and hack on the prototype as necessary in the field. 

Distribution and regulation 

It turns out there are lots of great, low-cost medical technologies out there -- either actually being produced, or in prototype stage. But the complex world of distribution means that by the time a $10 piece of technology makes it to an actual purchaser, it costs $100 or maybe $1000 because of all the steps in the chain. We're being creative about distribution, too. But for more on that, keep an eye on our blog at shiftlabs.com.

Also, we want to make sure you know we're following all local and international guidelines for testing of our devices. And we'll go through the regulatory procedure for the markets where we sell our devices.

 

 

Team on This Campaign: