Inlight Solutions primary goal was to develop a non-invasive glucose measurement for diabetics. One of the more difficult aspects of this measurement lies in the low signal to noise ratio of glucose. The team at Inlight was diverse, including scientists, spectroscopists, medical doctors, and engineers. It was a great environment to promote self-learning and to stretch the limits of ones' capabilities.
My primary role for the company was Embedded Software Lead and co-contributor for the development of the embedded software. The team took the existing PC-based solution and formulated an electronics suite to handle the functionality for the production model.
Senior Embedded Software Engineer/Embedded Software Lead
- Defined the processes used to develop embedded software for FDA regulations. Process was stream-lined for a small development team and held special considerations for embedded development.
- Interfaced custom embedded computer system with engineering prototype of non-invasive glucose monitor. System included data acquisition and servo-mechanism control for a spectrometer. Prototypes were used to collect data during clinical trials.
- Developed and deployed software that automated the creation of aqueous solution sets used for evaluation of new spectroscopic instruments and methods. Resulting system reduced solution set assembly time by 25%, eliminated most human errors, and created high quality samples (< 1% error per solution component).
- Self-taught Java and fundamental VHDL constructs.
The custom electronics and software for the medical device had a wide range of functionality: control of the servo for the spectrometer, acquisition of the light signal, processing of the data, and display of the results to the user. The system utilized a small FPGA and a PPC. The FPGA handled the servo control and data acquisition; the PPC handled the processing and user interface. During this time, I was able to learn some basic VHDL for data collection and transfers.
As a medical device company that had spent most of its time in the R&D realm, there was a need to define the development processes based on FDA regulations. The team developed a stream-lined process that focused on low overhead procedures with considerations for embedded development. In the end, our specifications for the process were approved by our FDA liaison.
Inlight was also the catalyst for me to learn Java. One of my colleagues and I built a system to generate aqueous solutions using a precision dropper system. It replaced a 7-year-old DOS-based application; the increased accuracy and user-friendly interface reduced human error. The new system also reduced the time to create a solution set from an 8-12 hour period to a 4-6 hour period.
- I thrive in an environment filled with professionals outside my area of expertise. I really enjoy learning about the technology that my software drives.
- Processes are most effective when they are enforced across all apsects of an organization.
- Leadership is more about service than management - enabling those you work with to be efficient and productive.
- Inlight had a tradition of running (or walking) up the La Luz trail on the longest day of the year. We happily went down the Sandia Tram after a few brews.
- Almost every Friday, employees would participate in short sessions on current activities. It was a great way to disseminate information and work out critical issues across functional groups.
- The various engineering groups contributed songs for a 'soundtrack' for the production device. Some of the songs included Ozzy Osborne's Crazy Train and Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower.
- Linux tools: RCS Make
- Hardware Verification & Validation
- FDA Software Process
Notice: images used with permission from Inlight Solutions.