Digitization has penetrated almost all areas of daily life, and, in addition to consumers, companies, in particular, are benefiting from the advantages of networking on the Internet of Things. The IoT helps to accelerate processes, counteract failures and generate added value through data.
The medical technology specialist Henke Sass Wolf (HSW) has developed a device for vaccinating pigs together with the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Thanks, high-pressure technology brings vaccines into circulation through the skin. This not only makes the vaccination process for the animals quick and stress-free. Since the devices are smart, they can also be connected to mobile devices via Bluetooth, thus enabling valuable health data to be collected. They also speed up and simplify the entire vaccination process for veterinarians and farm managers.
To succeed, HSW needed an app that queries the data collected from the vaccination devices, sends it to a cloud for further processing, and displays it visibly and usable. To make this possible, the Baden-Württemberg company worked together with the IoT specialists from Turismo.
During the planning and execution of the project, the team also encountered some challenges, both in terms of the connectivity of the app and the different use cases in which the devices and app would later be used.
Connectivity And Data Transfer
The EPIG vaccination devices collect data during their use – both about the condition of the device and the vaccination process. These are equally relevant for the pharmaceutical industry and animal husbandry. The devices send the collected information via Bluetooth to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets on which the EPIG app is installed. The application stores this data and forwards it to the cloud via cellular or other data connections. Establishing and maintaining communication between the vaccination device and the end device and ensuring data exchange via it was not easy.
Mobile app specialists from Tresmo and the embedded software development team at HSW worked closely together to ensure that the Bluetooth communication between the mobile phone and the vaccination device works and that all values can be read and displayed correctly. Thus, a very fast, reliable data exchange is now possible. In addition, the app can provide necessary firmware updates and install them on all vaccination devices in the field.
To use certain functions of the app, such as vaccination management, users must create a user account and use it to log into the application. This gives users access to the complete vaccination documentation, e.g., B. Create vaccination events.
To set up such an account, users must store user-specific data. The highest security standards in compliance with the EU GDPR apply to the processing and storage of this personal data. Therefore, ensuring data protection in the app was an essential point in realising the project.
Thanks to its expertise in this area, the Tresmo team was able to provide technical explanations on the processing and, together with SHAW’s data protection assessments, guaranteed the legally secure processing of this data. Thanks to the data protection guidelines provided, users always have an overview of how their personal information is used.
Internationality And User Experience
The EPIG vaccination device is used worldwide. For this reason, the project team had to consider the country-specific circumstances under which the devices are used when designing the app.
Therefore, when developing the functionalities, the focus was on making it easy, intuitive, and tailored to everyday work for users worldwide. This included the localization and translation of both the app and the display integrated into the vaccination device into the languages of the countries in which it is used. HSW also attached great importance to usability: Depending on the land, different professional groups work with the vaccination device and the associated application.
Therefore, the user experience (UX) was the focus of the app’s design right from the start to enable all interest groups to quickly and intuitively familiarise themselves with working with the device and the application.
Fast Support, Even Without Cell Phone Reception
Especially when working in the field in remote regions, it can often happen that users do not have a connection to the mobile network – and thus to the Internet – while working. If the device malfunctions, it is not possible to contact the manufacturer’s support. For this reason, HSW has integrated automatic error diagnostics and advice for immediate help into its app. Users can thus fall back on direct support and service, which also work without connecting to the mobile network.
The ecosystem around EPIG Vaccine Devices and App provides all stakeholders with the services they need:
Thanks to the app, farmers, veterinarians, and other people who work with the devices receive easy-to-use devices that collect essential health data and make them usable. In addition, the ecosystem makes it easier for them to document vaccination processes. Even in the event of a fault, you will receive quick help.
Thanks to the collected data, pharmaceutical companies gain insight into the demand and use of their vaccines and can incorporate this newly acquired information into their product development.
HSW can individually evaluate warranty cases and process support requests more quickly, thanks to the data collected on usage behaviour.