15-51% of users forget to take their birth control pills on time. Some of the many reasons are that they find it challenging to establish a routine and stay motivated. Enter Emme, a healthcare technology company with a mission to put women's health in women's hands, starting with birth control. The Emme team came to us with a vision: to empower people to take and track birth control pills no matter where they are.
Our answer was yes. The first thing we did was get all the right people in the same room: product managers from Emme, mechanical engineers from Spanner Product Development, and firmware and electrical engineers from our team. We held a series of conversations on budget, responsibilities, timelines, and deliverables.
Emme’s biggest priority was to build a working prototype for field trial studies and to gain investor funding. To get there, we mapped out these project phases:
• Phase 1 / system requirements
• Phase 2 / mechanical constraints, component selection
• Phase 3 / hardware experiments
• Phase 4 / schematics, layout, and fabrication
• Phase 5 / firmware development to provide framework for application and testing hardware
• Phase 6 / board bring up (BBU)
• Phase 7 / firmware for application
• Phase 8 / quality assurance (QA)
Then, we got to work. The team at Emme was not yet experienced in product development - and that was okay! Our engineers worked with them to understand high-level requirements and constraints, from budget to mechanical. Together, we determined we needed to take a conservative approach to the design; functionality was priority one, bill of materials (BOM) a close second, then all the rest.
Next, we worked with the mechanical engineer to create a mechanical control outline (MCO) for board space and dove into integrated circuit (IC) component selection. With a vendor, we held a lot of conversations about a key piece of hardware to detect pill case removal, and performed many experiments to prove the approach. At the same time, we began designing the product itself.
Principal Engineer: Dave Desrochers
Services: Firmware engineering, Hardware engineering, Prototyping, Testing, Project management