Redesigning chaos to make an easy-to-use hub for home and nursing care patients
How we helped patients communicate with their caregivers in an emergency
Who did we work with?
Our client is a representative of the Nursing and residential care industry, a part of the MedTech sector.
They work on different solutions that may help the caregivers keep an eye on their patients, in case an emergency happens outside their working hours.
Their most important goal is to ensure that their patients can communicate them effortlessly in any situation that would require immediate assistance.
What was the challenge?
Due to a long prototyping phase, the company had a working product. However, the length of the prototyping deemed some of the components had gone out of date and required replacements or a rework of the infrastructure. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic made some of the parts hard to access, especially the semiconductors, causing turmoil in the market.
With limited documentation and resources, our team needed to work out a solution that would compromise on some resources and accommodate the end users’ specific needs.
How did we want to tackle it?
With the limited documentation and outdated documents, our team had to work out a viable solution to fit the budget.
After detangling the code and failed architecture elements from the working devices, the experts proposed redesigning the product to work with the new components that needed replacement.
It required a combination of software and hardware to create a working hub to integrate the devices into the system.
Technologies that helped us
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- Microsoft .NET
- Microsoft Azure
- Kubernetes Integration
What was our client’s goal and the challenge they faced before reaching us?
Our partner, a MedTech company specialising in implementing innovative solutions for nursing homes and in-home patient care needed an easy-to-use device to allow patients to communicate with their caregivers in an emergency. It resulted from the fact that the caregivers in some countries work only during business weekdays, and patients living alone in their own homes needed an infallible means to communicate in urgent need.
The device needed to be very easy to use, as senior patients often aren’t tech-savvy enough to work with more complex technology. It had to accommodate the key functions and enclose them in several buttons and clear displays.
The product went through a long, six-year prototyping phase and at the end, some of the components were outdated and required a replacement or different infrastructure to work properly. They needed hardware and software experts to assemble the elements into a working IoT network hub.
Our client needed expertise and a competent team in both hardware and software to help implement the required functions and the device connectivity to the system. They met our experts, and the project started in 2021.
How did we kick off the work?
After meeting the client and familiarising ourselves with them, our team had many challenges to face so that they could outline an optimal solution.
Due to the long prototyping phase and the need to change some key components, our team deemed the existing architecture and software insufficient. They also had to deal with limited documentation regarding the devices and their infrastructure.
After navigating the available resources and consulting the elements with the lead developer and the CEO to lay out the problem, the team pointed out that the infrastructure needed a rework due to the outdated components and parts of the code.
Who were the experts behind the project?
Our team comprised a project coordinator, delivery manager, tech lead, BLE expert and an electronic engineer to ensure software and hardware implementation. They were supported by the company’s lead developer and CEO, who actively participated in the development and helped fill in the gaps whenever necessary.
What did they do to solve the issue?
To deliver a device that could be a part of the bigger IoT network, the team must manage and organise their work based on the available documentation and expertise of the company’s lead developer.
After untangling the issues with new components, existing architecture and code, they proposed redesigning the architecture and rewriting the code, as it was easier than trying to work out how to incorporate the existing code and infrastructure into new components.
They also implemented the necessary features into an easy “press-and-play” device that would pose no problem for end users. The BLE technology proved useful in helping manage battery life optimisation.
What were the key steps of the project?
Assessing the state of the current software and architecture and how it can work with the device
Redesigning the product to work with new components
Designing new firmware to work with the existing devices
Code analysis to make it compatible with new components
Extending the battery working time from the initial 12h using one battery
Implementing energy management optimisation
Ensuring that the software and hardware comply with the EU MedTech norms
New optimisation and code base
What did we achieve?
- Making a solid foundation for the end product – an IoT-based communication hub
- Simple control with only a few buttons allows for easy use, removing a technological barrier for its users
- Integrating wireless connectivity technologies, including dual SIM, WiFi, and Bluetooth
- Making changes to the product architecture, replacing the missing components with new parts that were more available on the market
- Ensuring the hub can connect with up to 64 devices (wireless sensors)
- Designing new architecture for seamless connectivity
- Increasing the battery life to reliable 48h and continuous support for the product
The cooperation ended in November 2022, and the client was satisfied with the results. We created a solid foundation for the product that is currently available on the market. Our continuous efforts to improve and enhance the product helped the company to reduce the market release time. Throughout the collaboration, the product has been continuously supported by our developers.