Around 2004, MicroTools realized that there was going to be a growing market for medical devices with embedded systems inside them. With no prior experience, we did not know how we would be able to market our services as electronic systems and software designers to those who wanted to build medical devices. Through an act of Providence, we were invited to team with a design firm that had very little electronic and software capability.
They knew that there was going to be a growing need for more sophisticated electronics and software in some of their medical products (wound therapy devices and hospital beds). In parallel a number of doctors began calling us about designs and inventions that they had in mind. Before we knew it, we had experience developing the electronics and software. Since 2005 we have been involved in designing and developing a number of medical devices including:
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy devices (1 microprocessor) These devices can speed healing of serious cuts and burns by up to 30%. Careful engineering design and well documented processes are important for such devices. Even a medical device that looks simple and harmless can cause serious injury or even death. See Wound Therapy Alert from the FDA. This means that designing and developing any medical device requires extra rigor.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) (3 microprocessors) This incredible devices allows patients who require oxygen to be able to travel on airplanes (This device requires FAA approval). With an innovative mechanism for providing logs over IrDA, light weight and with an intuitive user interface, this device enabled one company to break into an already crowded POC market.
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) (4 microprocessors) When it hits the medical marketplace this device promises to give an extra lease on life for patients with congestive heart failure. This device must meet the rigors Class C IEC 60601-1 safety requirements.
Patient Transport System (14 microprocessors) As a replacement for a Hoyer Lift, this device enables a bed bound patient to be transferred to a wheeled chair with the touch of a button. Requiring scores of sensors and seven motor actuators, this device is a marvel to watch. Be sure to check out the video of this amazing device. This device will allow 1000’s of patients currently in continuing care facilities to return to their homes. We are very excited about where this product is going.
To read about how MicroTools approaches systems and software design to enable you to get your idea from concept to FDA approval, read more.