Wisconsin-based Asthmapolis tapped Synapse to develop its breakthrough technologies for asthma treatment. Combining medication sensors, mobile applications, and analytics, the Asthmapolis sensor was designed to attach to existing rescue inhalers and collect data such as when and where patients experience asthma conditions.
With several versions already developed and tested, Synapse updated existing designs for optimal reliability and functionality, resulting in a complex new medical technology housed in a small, lightweight, easy-to-use device. Alongside addressing mechanical concerns, such as accidental activation and design for manufacturing, Synapse enhanced the device aesthetics and ergonomics. Proper development of the Asthmapolis sensor required a deep understanding of existing inhalers with special focus on ease-of-use and manufacturability.
The Asthmapolis sensor was designed to attach to the tops of existing inhalers. When patients use their inhalers, the sensor is activated, sending time and location data to your mobile phone or Asthmapolis base station. From there, the data is made accessible to physicians, patients, and other health organizations.
The understanding of asthma has been limited by a lack of information on when and where people develop symptoms. For physicians, the Asthmapolis sensor can provide insight into what is triggering symptom exacerbation for a particular patient, enabling more accurate diagnosis. On a larger scale, public health organizations will be able to compile and analyze data for insight into what’s causing high rates of chronic respiratory disease (CRD) in their particular city or region.
Synapse was responsible for the, look, feel and mechanical engineering details of the Asthmapolis sensor product. Inclusive of Synapse’s service offering was biocompatible material selection for this type of medical device, manufacturing partner selection, statistical tolerance analysis, finite element analysis, Form-Fit-Function tests, first article inspection and engineering support for the transfer to manufacturing.
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The finished design passed standard medical equipment and safety testing without requiring any redesign efforts or subsequent costs and lead-time overruns. Asthmapolis was able to quickly achieve its goal for FDA clearance and begin marketing the product to medical professionals and organizations.
Asthma is the 5th most costly condition in the U.S. estimated at $56 billion annually. The reason has been an inability to accurately pinpoint the environment factors that could be triggering inflammation of the respiratory system—whether its stress, an allergic reaction, or otherwise. Without knowing when symptoms will occur, patients carry their inhalers with them every day, in pockets, purses, and backpacks. As a result, Asthmapolis needed to address concerns of ergonomics, durability, and accidental activation of its sensor. Asthmapolis turned to Synapse to take its concept from successful prototype through manufacturing.
Asthmapolis approached Synapse based on its reputation for mechanical engineering expertise, as well as its resources in industrial design. With several versions already developed and tested, Synapse was tapped to update existing designs for optimal reliability and functionality. Through close collaboration with the customer, a cross-functional engineering team and the contract manufacturers, Synapse delivered a market-appropriate product ready for mass-production.