Challenge

To undertake a re-design of the electronics in Aktiia’s wearable blood pressure monitor to fix known issues and produce design outputs for a commercial product under tight time constraints.

Approach

We worked closely with Aktiia’s development team to understand the design intent and outstanding issues, and to agree and test solutions. We then used our network of prototyping suppliers to provide printed board assemblies for testing and trials.

Outcome

We supplied Aktiia with both an updated design and prototype parts within their tight timescales. This enabled them to complete their trials and get commercial manufacturing underway.

At a glance

Client
Aktiia

Sector
MedTech

Services
Electronics

Team staff on project
4

Electronics design for a wearable connected blood pressure monitor

Aktiia has developed a novel and elegant bracelet device to allow continuous blood pressure monitoring. This wearable device uses proprietary algorithms via a smartphone app to provide data 24/7. The data can then be used by health professionals and users to treat hypertension more effectively.

Aktiia came to Team Consulting to help them complete an electronics design update to address known challenges with their existing prototypes. The update required a thorough understanding of the sensor technology, signal processing, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and circuit miniaturisation.

We worked closely with Aktiia’s development team to understand their challenges. We then designed and tested changes to the electronics to resolve the issues. We integrated our project management tools to keep information flow short and fast between our team and the client’s team, improving efficiency. This close collaboration enabled Aktiia to take full advantage of the expertise of Team Consulting’s engineers.

Electronics design and development

The Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) that we updated was already densely populated and the space for the electronics in the bracelet was tightly constrained. Team’s experience of designing multilayer, small component boards was an important part of the success of the project.

For body-worn medical devices it is critically important that the user is not exposed to unsafe light energy levels and leakage currents. Using our knowledge of EN 62471, (photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems) we were able to determine a safe operating point for the device, and improve the circuit so that this limit could be met.

We also created a new circuit which met the leakage current requirements. We adapted the PCBA to allow it to be semi-automatically programmed and tested, and improved the component layout to meet our design for manufacturing (DFM) guidelines.

Seamless collaboration

Aktiia had to meet tight deadlines for the electronics re-design if they wanted to achieve clinical trials in the second half of 2019 and product launch in 2021. We understood how important this was to a start-up company and worked with Aktiia to develop a plan that balanced time and risk. We also integrated ourselves into Aktiia development team, using its project management tools for communication and document sharing to ensure seamless collaboration.

Team Consulting was able to understand our vision and technical requirements. They worked under tight time constraints to re-design the electronics of our wearable blood pressure monitor so that we could meet trial deadlines and start manufacture.

Nadège Siutryk, Project Manager at Aktiia

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