If you’re bleeding, how does the doctor know whether you need a transfusion? How does she know how much to give, or when to stop? Today there are diagnostics tests that provide this information, but not enough hospitals use them beccause they’re expensive, complicated, and unreliable. What if there was a simpler test that was small and easy-to-use? Transfusion outcomes would improve and hospitals would save money.
The Chapel Hill-based startup Rheomics is developing a device to solve this problem. Using Rheomics’s patent-pending Actuated Surface-Attached Post (ASAP) technology, doctors will be able to direct transfusion therapy using only a pinprick of blood in a simple, effective test.
Rheomics contacted Porticos because they needed to demonstrate that their technology could be packaged in a compact, low-cost device. Size is important for clinicians in point-of-care environments. Rheomics also perceives opportunities to expand the use of this type of diagnostic to field and mobile environments, such as ambulances.
Some of the key design challenges that Porticos had to solve included:
- Align the consumable with the optical and magnetic subassemblies in the device
- Maintain a uniform temperature of 37 ± 0.1 ˚C
- Make the package small, durable, and robust to tapping and vibration
- Insulate the specimen from heat fluctuations elsewhere in the device
In a rapid development cycle, Porticos conceived and built a compact, robust mechanical design that allowed Rheomics to highlight the advantages of its technology. The package provides easy connectivity to all internal electrical components over just two cables. Porticos tuned the ergonomics of test card insertion and removal. Rheomics can now demonstrate that ASAP is the only platform that can achieve ease of use, small specimen size, portability, and multifunctional testing.
According to Ricky Spero, Vice President of Product Development and Co-Founder of Rheomic, working with Porticos was “a pleasure.” “Kevin and his team ask tough questions and drive toward clear answers. They are scientific, professional, and expert in ways that perfectly expand on our in-house capabilities. We can’t wait to work with them again.”
The Rheomic ASAP project is another great example of a “Product design for the way we’re designed.” The Porticos team was excited to be a part of the project and to be able to showcase many of their skills, from developing innovative concepts to product design to executing creative engineering solutions.