Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship under Avnet’s Wing

by RaeAnne Marsh

Avnet, a leading global technology solutions provider is committed to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at every stage. The company continues to sponsor the ASU Innovation Open, and continues to make its Ask Avnet program available for engineers. This is part of Avnet’s long history of actively encouraging innovation in the technology sector. “As nextgeneration technologies such as IoT, AI and deep learning drive innovation, developers need specific support and expertise to manage the complexity of bringing products to market around the world,” says Avnet CEO Bill Amelio. “At Avnet, we’ve created a unique end-to-end ecosystem that helps take innovation from idea to design, and from prototype to production.”

At the present time, Avnet is working with a connected health company, Vital, on a product that can capture seven key vital signs in one application.

Nearly 1 billion people around the world suffer from high blood pressure or heart failure, and diabetes. They need to check their vital signs one or two times each day, and share that data with their doctors to review remotely. For patients with these chronic diseases, and many others like it, those vital signs can offer immediate clues to lifesaving measures — but it takes at least five dedicated devices to capture one individual’s core vital signs. Each device takes time and money, even for those patients who can afford their own at-home equipment.

Enter the Vital team, who had an idea for a much easier and more interactive approach for monitoring vital signs with a single, integrated device. The team developed a prototype device: one single finger cuff that could capture key vital signs, attach to a smartphone, connect to the internet via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and transmit vital signs to a mobile app.

Vital then turned to Avnet to organize a team of electrical and mechanical experts to help the company refine the prototype’s design, source the components and bring the products to scale. Avnet’s experience with IoT product development helped Vital create a product that can capture seven key vital signs in one single application: temperature, blood pressure, respiration, oxygen saturation, pulse/heart rate, variability and profusion index (the amount of blood flow that goes through the vascular system). Currently, Avnet is working with Vital on productizing this innovative and potentially life-saving technology, while Vital is working on FDA approval and clinical trials to help the billions of patients around the world who manage chronic diseases every day live a little easier. “We’re also working on adding a new feature that will make life easier for patients with diabetes: the ability to measure blood glucose — non-invasively,” Amelio says.

The work with Vital demonstrates how Avnet’s unique end-to-end ecosystem can bring innovation to life and get products to market.

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