A Device for Passive Patient Metrics
TZ Medical manufactures a hand-held device used by heart patients to monitor instances of arrhythmia called the Aera CT. About the size of a smartphone, the device gathers and reports data to the patient and his or her physicians. It also transmits information, which can be collected for FDA trials. To fit into the daily lives of the patients, the device needed to be water-resistant and allow the LCD display to be clearly viewed.
Improving a Product and Lives
TZ Medical engineers explained they had been using a manufacturing technique to make the devices water-resistant, but it was an afterthought application that required hand-placing microscreens over tiny holes on the back. It was very delicate, exacting, costly work. It took them 10 minutes per unit to get that right—placing small, water-resistant gaskets over tiny holes.
During initial conversations with CleanMark, the question arose, could the units be redesigned to be water-resistant without this cumbersome, extra step?
It Can be Built for Less? Really?
CleanMark collaborated with TZ Medical engineers. We took their blueprint and scrutinized every aspect.
CleanMark engineer Michael LeFebvre questioned the materials and processes. Upon his review, he quickly realized that not only could a better, more water-resistant product be designed, but that it could also be produced in a way that would substantially reduce the manufacturing costs. Back-end assembly of placing the waterproof gaskets could be eliminated completely.
A Better Process and Strong Partnershp
Our collaborative effort with TZ Medical’s engineering team resulted in several significant improvements outside of fulfilling the initial goal of greater water-resistance. Redesigning the monitor from the ground up, we were also able to improve the clarity and sharpness of the device’s display, increasing the contrast ratio 400 times by optically bonding the LCD screen’s protective spacer to the graphic overlay. We were able to dramatically improve the bottom line. Efficiency was doubled—benefitting TZ Medical and heart patients around the world.
As with our most successful partnerships, the relationship with TZ Medical has become a solid one built on trust, and maintained on a mutual desire to innovate through collaborative exploration.
“This is how CleanMark is different: we do not stop at the quote. We will go to the trouble of finding out what happens to our product after it leaves our facility. In doing so, it’s amazing how many times we can redesign a component that will actually lower the cost of producing it, by helping to simplify manufacturing down the line.”
— Michael LeFebvre, Engineer