Propeller Health is a company that helps people with Asthma and COPD through sensors attached to inhalers that record when and how they are using their medication. Patients are reminded to take their scheduled doses, and usages are analyzed to determine patterns and triggers. Patients benefit by having better adherence, which means better breathing, fewer exacerbations and emergency room visits, and better control over their health. Doctors benefit by being able to see how well the medication is working and if they need to change medication or dose. Insurance companies benefit because overall cost of the patient is lower with fewer emergency room visits. Pharma companies benefit when they use our sensors in their drug trials to make sure the drugs are working and being used as intended.
My title is senior embedded hardware engineer, but my role is far more than that. I develop the electronics and firmware for sensors. This includes prototyping all aspects of the sensor originally, including the enclosure, then taking the design to production, including some test and assembly tooling. I also build fixtures used for validation testing that is submitted to the FDA. I enjoy working on a team of people to develop the products, and I firmly believe that what we are doing is helping people. In 2019 Propeller Health was acquired by ResMed for $225 million, and it was partly because of the prototype I developed that got us in the door. I particularly enjoy working with the sales teams to rapidly develop a proof of concept to take to a potential client. They bring me along to talk about our capabilities, show off what we’ve already done, and how excited we are to work on this kind of thing. It is generally successful at bringing on the client because we’ve gone from “should we hire this vague company” to “we’ve already committed to this company and now we’re super excited to talk about the features of the product” in the span of the demo.