Empo Health minimized repetitive tasks and improved collaboration with Duro

June 11, 2023

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Empo Health is an innovative in-home health monitoring device company that is developing products for chronic disease management. Their primary focus is diabetes, a widespread health issue affecting millions of people worldwide. Empo Health’s flagship product is an imaging bathroom scale and digital health platform for remote foot inspection. It provides patients and clinicians with reliable visual data outside the clinic. The scale of this problem is huge: $40 billion is spent annually in the United States on healthcare for diabetic foot complications. 

Prior to Duro

Both Empo Health’s Co-founders came from a technical background and had previously used PLM platforms. Rather than waiting until they faced challenges with data centralization, they decided to implement a PLM system shortly after getting their CAD systems in place. They looked for a modern, easy to use solution that would integrate with their existing tools. They needed a platform that would help them manage their product development processes and iterate quickly on prototypes. Being in the medical field, precision, rapid iteration and compliance were vital.

The solution

Empo Health wanted to build a modern tech stack. They focused on finding tools that would allow them to collaborate easily and support users on different machines. They sought a modern, user-friendly PLM system that could integrate with Onshape. The solution needed to manage their bill of materials (BOM), ensure version control, and facilitate easy collaboration within their growing team. After evaluating several options, they selected Duro. It met their criteria of an intuitive interface that would be easy to add users and configure permissions.

Originally, Duro was used to track what Empo Health was building so that they could determine how many components to order. Now the team has grown, it’s become the single source of truth for the latest revision. The team uses Duro for:

  • Documenting product information: Being a medical device company, Empo Health is subject to manufacturing and design practices that are aligned with FDA standards for medical products. The team needs to document the design process and design history and clearly define user needs and system requirements. 
  • Tracking revisions: Duro helps them track every revision so that they know exactly the design of the device that goes into a clinical study and eventually production. Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing, Embedded Systems/Firmware Engineering, and Quality relies on this documentation.
  • Reviewing cost estimations: While the team already has trusted vendors for sourcing, Duro’s electrical component feature helps them understand cost estimations. They can easily upload a BOM and then review cost roll-ups.  
  • Understanding revision status: Duro acts as the source of truth for the latest design revision. Whatever is released for fabrication is uploaded to Duro. This ensures there’s no confusion over which is the right version.

“In the same way that version control applications have helped teams accelerate software development, I find that Duro helps us accelerate our hardware development. With Duro, our team can work together with more clarity and efficiency, while also spending less time with administrative process tasks.”

— Eric Dahlseng, Chief Product Officer

Benefits

Duro enables Empo Health to focus on developing a valuable product. The system enables many benefits for the team.

  • Collaboration: Duro helps streamline communication. For example, a Mechanical Engineer can put a drawing into Duro, then Manufacturing knows exactly what’s released for fabrication and there’s no confusion when parts arrive. Everyone understands which version to look at because it’s easy to find in Duro. The team also uses Duro to share data sheets, electrical engineering schematics, fabrication files, and mechanical drawings. 
  • Minimize rote tasks: The streamlined platform means the team can focus on designing, building, and testing the product rather than admin. They can work quickly rather than fighting with technology and lengthy processes. 
  • Speed: Empo Health needs to balance getting to market quickly with improving care for patients. Duro enables them to track and iterate on designs while ensuring accurate information and processes. Duro also speeds up documentation quality work. Since the platform tracks revisions automatically, the team can reference a specific revision within Duro rather than having to generate/export documents to put into theirour quality system. 
  • Accurate data: With Duro, the team knows that they have the right number of components and which revision is the latest. Duro helps them minimize time spent on sourcing so that they can focus on designing and building. They need to be able to reliably build multiples of our product. 

The future vision

Empo Health plans to begin commercialization of its product in 2024. Duro’s full feature set will become even more valuable as they transition into manufacturing. They’ll use Duro to manage processes, like Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) and optimizing supply chain operations. 

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