Post-COVID-19 Electronic Product Development

It’s May 25th and I am waking up to what has become a routine series of COVID-19 updates both local and nationally, although this day is special because it marks the first day corporate offices are permitted to open at 50 % capacity under the guidelines as created by the governor of Massachusetts and his staff.  But as I walk through the doors to the corporate offices of our electronic product development firm I quickly observe that the landscape has changed dramatically from where I left it.  I’m greeted with signs mandating masks and social distancing, along with an ample supply of hand sanitizers.

Organic Viruses Continue to Change Our Digital World 

We receive a fair number of unique product ideas across a broad variety of industries. I can’t help but think of the number of new product ideas that will emerge as we continue to evaluate the viral impact data and how it affects our daily lives.

Influenza pandemics unfortunately are not uncommon. Looking back 100 years, there was a major pandemic, on average, every 20 years: from the devastating H1N1 in 1918, H2N2 in 1957, H3N2 in 1968, H1N1 in 2009, and now today’s coronavirus or COVID-19. The 1918 influenza infected nearly a third of the world’s population and killed 50 million people. At that time science was advancing, but obviously not to where the world of genetic engineering is today. In the beginning of the 20th century with a global population of 1.6 billion people, the primary means of transportation was trains and boats. Today, in our global interconnected society of 7.6 billion people with dozens of cities over 20 million people and high-speed transportation, we live socially more connected. Even with science and technology advancements in 2020, the primary solution to defeating COVID-19, like in 1918, is social isolation, clean hygiene, use of disinfectants, and the limiting of public gatherings.

However, unlike 1918, electronic product design, with the latest advances in technology and science, are now being used to save lives and slow the spread. Which brings us back to our earlier premise, a series of low cost, highly integrated technology products utilizing bio sensors and wireless technologies will emerge as we continue to identify new opportunities. I can foresee a day when cost effective unobtrusive devices will be integrated as part of our everyday activities such as remote sensing and smart wearable health monitors. Such devices will not only monitor your current health condition but may provide immunization and testing status.  Machine learning concepts such as respiratory pattern irregularity identification will play a role in identifying virus onset. Other areas of opportunity may include air particle circulation monitoring and control as well as point-of-care test devices.

Designing the New Normal Through Electronic Design

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many of us to reflect on our vulnerabilities particularly as it pertains to our global economy. Supply chain management stands front and center.

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was written into law a 2.3% medical device tax (on US sales) was imposed on US medical device manufacturers. Many moved offshore production and design to limit financial impact which created a gap in electrical and mechanical designers. That is why electronic design services like Tri-Star Design, with experienced engineers, are sought after more than ever. One of the reasons PPE (personal protection equipment) was in such short supply was because suppliers in the US moved production overseas. Lesson learned.

So how do the new use cases we just described go from an idea to production? One solution is through full-service design engineering organizations, like Tri-Star Design.  Full-service design services means you have a partner for all of your R&D, operations, and manufacturing teams. The Tri-Star Design R&D team includes electrical, mechanical, software, and biomedical engineering support. We are leaders in embedded systems and FPGA designs. In partnership with our local third-party contract manufacturers, Tri-Star Design operations and manufacturing capabilities can produce both quick-turn engineering prototypes or provide volume manufacturing under the regulatory quality control of ISO 13485.

We believe the innovative spirit throughout this great country will solve the problem at hand and are pleased to service everyone from start-up to multinational organizations.  As you consider your future electronic product development needs, turn to Tri-Star Design to help turn your idea into reality.

Paul Errico, Director of Healthcare Account Management, Tri-Star Design, Contact Paul at