Reading-based PTC has extended its partnership with Withings, with its cloud-native product development platform helping unlock the wealth of health information in daily urine.
The UK’s leading digital transformation specialist has been working with the Paris-based healthcare innovator since 2019 and has deployed its Onshape CAD system for the firm’s latest product launch that caused a global sensation at the CES event earlier this year.
U-Scan, a miniaturised health lab that hygienically sits within any toilet bowl, leverages the power of the built in Product Data Management (PDM) to automatically track every design change through the lifetime of what is an incredibly complex project.
This means every time anyone from Withings’ 5-strong team of designers make a design change, everyone else can instantly see it. A comprehensive edit history tracks who made what change and when, enabling the team to instantly revert to any prior design if desired.
By using Onshape, the core engineering team in France can also instantly share the design changes with their colleagues overseas, eliminating the previous communication delays that came with sending massive files back and forth by email or Dropbox.
“The truth of the design information is always there for our designers and that has saved us time and engineering costs in the development of U-Scan,” explained Manon Navellou, Head of Mechanics at Withings.
“Our engineering team switched from an old file-based CAD system to Onshape in 2019 when we needed to replace our inefficient manual approach to version control in the development of our hugely successful hybrid smartwatch.
“When we were versioning manually, we sometimes would lose data because of someone saving their design on top of someone else’s version.”
She continued: “This no longer happens with Onshape. To make our products, like U-Scan, stand out in the market we must iterate every day. We design something, prototype it, test it, make modifications, and then start the loop over again.
“PTC’s cloud-native platform means engineers no longer have to waste time worrying about data management and can spend most of their time focusing on design.”
Simultaneously being developed for the consumer health and professional medical market, U-Scan is a game changer in home health technology.
It is designed to be a versatile platform consisting of an advanced pebble-shaped reader and changeable analysis cartridges that assess specific biomarkers without the need for external sample capture or strips.
The latest Withings product, which will be available initially at www.withings.com and then through high street retailers in the UK, debuts with U-Scan Cycle Sync (for women’s monthly cycle tracking and syncing) and U-Scan Nutri Balance, a detailed metabolic guide to hydration and nutrition.
Manon went on to add: “U-Scan is made of up a lot of complex parts, so one of the main positives of Onshape is its ‘Branching and Merging’ and ‘Multi-Part Part Studios’ features.
“Our engineers can simultaneously branch off the main design and explore alternative designs independently, later coming back to merge the best ideas into a final design that eliminates a lot of engineering reworks.
“Onshape’s modelling environment also allows us to design multiple related parts at the same time in the same space, versus bouncing back and forth between individual part files. A major time saving.”
PTC has been working with Withings since 2019 and its design software has been used in the development of several connected devices that make better health part of our daily life.
This includes the recent launch of the next generation of body monitoring in Body Scan, which provides daily biomarkers associated with common health conditions, and the firm’s Scan Watch.
The latter is the world’s first hybrid smartwatch, a wrist piece that looks like a traditional analogue watch, but with added health sensors that relay real-time critical health information, such as ecg, heart rate, SpO2, activity tracking and sleep patterns, to a Health Mate mobile app.
Steve Mahoney, Senior Director Onshape, PTC EMEA, concluded: “Withings is changing the way millions of people across the world are monitoring their health.
“Having access to the most effective design and product data management platform from PTC is playing a key role in this innovation, as well as achieving industry-leading performance and speed to market that is so important when bringing something ‘new’ to the world.
“The power of collaboration and ‘single truth design data’ that Onshape delivers time and time again is so versatile and is being applied to the firm’s growing range of products. We can’t wait for the next ‘smart’ launch!”
You can also hear from the Withings team in our latest edition of PTC’s #ThirdAngle podcast – www.ptc.com/en/resources/corporate/podcast/third-angle/episode-14.