CASE STUDY: REPERIO HEALTH
Reperio is taking screenings out of the lab with the first and only Bluetooth-enabled, at-home health screening service with instant results.
Reperio Health needed help connecting a variety of FDA-cleared medical devices using Bluetooth-enabled technology to create a complete at-home health screening service for employers and health care providers. Reperio needed Simplexity’s help to develop mechanical, electrical, firmware, and systems aspects of its kits through a centralized communication hub that allowed all the devices to work together, providing a cohesive, efficient, and user-friendly experience. This scope of work included early phase ideation, developing product requirements, detailed engineering design, prototyping, project management, component sourcing, and vendor selection in addition to the engineering collaboration needed to complete the system design.
Reperio Client Testimonial
- Develop the communication system hub that allows a screening kit to be shipped to an individual’s home that can measure blood pressure, heart rate, RFM, BMI, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels in under 30 minutes.
- Ensure kits can last in the field for at least two weeks without needing batteries recharged and can boot up quickly upon initiation.
- Ensure adequate antenna signal strength range to allow all devices to communicate with communications hub.
- Allow the kit distribution center to wirelessly verify battery levels and replace or charge Hub only if necessary, to reduce turnaround time.
- Provide easy prompts to guide the user through the screening using consistent LED indicators.
- Provide automated data logging that does not require the user to manually write down or record results of each screening section.
Reperio Screening Kit
- A smart communications system was developed by Simplexity for Reperio Health. There is a Hub that sits in the center of the screening kit, providing a communications link between the app on an individual’s phone and the medical devices.
- Using a mobile app, individuals are led through each portion of the screening and the results are gathered and logged automatically.
- The app and medical devices communicate with the Hub via BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy).
- The Hub communicates with each device, relaying results from each portion to the app.
- The resulting information is made immediately available to the individual and can be aggregative and anonymized for employers or providers. This makes sharing health data with a primary care provider simple and convenient and gives individuals the ability to track results over time from home.
Smart Communications System
How it Works: Reperio Health Screening
- Simplexity developed the communication center, the Hub, for the middle of the health screening kits.
- To facilitate communication between the medical devices and the Reperio mobile app, Simplexity provided the electronics and firmware for implementing reliable Bluetooth communications.
- Simplexity developed the battery housing to ensure good connection and safety.
- Simplexity worked closely with the client and part manufacturers to meet high aesthetic standards.
- The Hub implements BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Central and Peripheral roles to communicate with the mobile application using BLE NUS (Nordic UART Service) and a medical device simultaneously. The Hub is programmed with the necessary protocols for communicating with each type of medical device and for the mobile app.
- Battery level is monitored from the on-board battery charger and relayed to the mobile App using BLE BAS (Battery Service).
- A real-time clock is also included to accurately record the date and time of each screening portion. The BLE CTS (Current Time Service) is implemented to keep the Hub clock synchronized with time provided by the mobile application.
- A button/LED User interface was implemented to show the user the current operating state of the device through color/brightness animations with multi-colored LED’s and to allow the user to put the Hub in sleep mode.
- The kit can be reset to factory state and erased storage over BLE to ready the kit for a new customer.
“The Simplexity team had a lot of knowledge and were able to improve on what we thought we were going to build and hone it down to something that made a lot more sense. Simplexity’s experience and breadth of knowledge helped us make sure we were building the right device.”
— Matt Wallington, Reperio CTO and Co-Founder
- A low-profile cosmetic switch was developed with the local supplier.
- During switch development, design played a strong role. The switch was designed to provide a good tactile feel and a bright light in a package that is only 3mm thick.
- The initial ring light implementation consists of three Red-Blue LEDs shining into dissipating material for even lighting.
- The implemented design supports changing to NEO pixel LEDs to allow for full RGB colors and light movement around the ring.
- A custom battery pack was designed, including a simple sliding interface to the kit.
- Back at the distributor, a custom battery pack charging station was designed, enabling simultaneous charging of over 25 batteries.
- The Hub is latched to the main housing using a twist lock system, and insertion & removal are tool-less. The latching system is below the foam and hidden from the user.
- The molding of the Hub main body supports a deep near-zero draft concept with high cosmetics on the top end.
- A key decision was made to integrate the charging port into the bottom of the Hub, rather than into the battery, keeping battery costs (which are replaced more often than Hubs) down.
- The Hub’s charging port can be used in emergency situations to charge the battery off-site via standard USB if needed.
- The PCA includes expansion capability to support future development on existing hardware.
The result of this design and engineering effort is a system that allows employers and health care providers to supply their populations with convenient, at-home health screening options. This empowers individuals to take control of their health and eliminates the administrative burden of onsite options. The Bluetooth-enabled kit collects data through an app that prompts the user through the entire process, collecting nine key health metrics in under 30 minutes. Once health metric collection is complete, the kit is shipped back to Reperio’s warehouse for sanitizing and prep for shipping to the next client with minimal servicing needed thanks to the low power design that enables long battery life. This patented and unique solution allows employees and patients to take a more proactive and actionable approach to monitoring their health, all from the comfort of their homes.
Simplexity helped Reperio design a system that went from starting up in 40 seconds to booting up immediately and went from having a few hours of battery life to having several months of battery life.
“Simplexity was really great about letting us know when we should be asking ourselves questions. There were times when there was something that needed to be discussed that had never crossed our minds. They were great about bringing that to our attention.”
— Reperio CEO and Co-Founder Travis Rush