US-based GPS product design firm, SiliconSky GPS, designs and develops a GPS-enabled asthma inhaler that will help a cutting edge epidemiology researcher to better understand asthma triggers.
Red Lodge, Montana , April 21, 2009 – SiliconSky GPS, a leading US-based GPS integrator and product design firm, announced today that is has successfully completed the design, development and beta-manufacturing of the first-of-its-kind asthma inhaler enabled with GPS tracking for a pioneering researcher.
Behind every great GPS product inventor, stands an innovative engineering team (www.SiliconSkyGPS.com) ready to design and build a product that has the potential to revolutionize an industry. Such is the story of two forward-thinking partners – an epidemiologist from the University of Wisconsin working to better understand the triggers of asthma and an engineering firm that is dedicated to bringing the most useful and innovative GPS products to market.
Edward Olson, CEO of SiliconSky GPS, and David Van Sickle, a University of Wisconsin researcher and entrepreneurial inventor, set out to create a medical device that would allow tracking of asthma inhaler use trends, including exact time and geographic location of uses. The result was a GPS-enabled standard asthma inhaler.
Due to the nature of asthma attacks and inhaler use, the medical device needed to function inside buildings as well as outdoors. The unit had to be small enough to fit in the palm of a user hand, comfortably in a pocket or bag. Additionally, inhaler data needed to be reliably gathered and relayed back to Van Sickle’s research database in real-time, where information could be compiled, managed and interpreted.
SiliconSky GPS brought its engineering heritage to the table when designing the GPS-enabled inhaler. Its team has been a part of the design and engineering groups of some the world’s most interesting GPS products over the last two decades — the Hertz Never-Lost™ in-car navigation system by Magellan, the industry’s smallest AGPS chip set created for Global Locate/Broadcom, the SkyGolf™ and SkyCaddie™ rangefinders by SkyHawke Technology along with John Deere’s Starfire™ ag-navigation systems.
The GPS inhaler design utilized state-of-the-art Assisted GPS (AGPS), a GSM modem, integral antennas, an embedded microprocessor and an internal rechargeable lithium ion battery. Aggressive battery management techniques allowed for an impressive ten day operation between charges. The use of 3G GPRS communication technology allowed the device to report usage data from anywhere in the nation to the research center. The product was designed, tested and manufactured for trial studies in just over six months.
One of the more challenging aspects of the design was achieving the necessary small form factor. “Our client needed the medical device to be compact enough for convenient daily use. To achieve that end, it took efficient circuit design and meticulous 3D modeling to fit the electronics, battery and antennae into a package the size of a Zippo lighter,” as Edward Olson explains the device design hurdles.
With many GPS asthma inhalers currently in use in Van Sickle’s University of Wisconsin program, meaningful data is now being collected to assist with asthma research. For SiliconSky GPS, another product successfully delivered, innovation realized and client satisfied.
About SiliconSky GPS
SiliconSky GPS is a leading GPS product design and integration firm located in Red Lodge, Montana serving clients in the US and abroad. The team is dedicated to innovative product research, invention, design, development and testing. Visit www.SiliconSkyGPS.com for more information. SiliconSky GPS is a member of IEEE and Institute of Navigation.