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Developing Applications that Sync with Medical Devices

Project Overview

QBurst developed a tablet application for a Singapore-based medical research firm. The purpose of the application was to convert Samsung tablets into display devices for a hardware unit that the client wanted to showcase at an exhibition. We used Java and Android SDK to develop the application and Bluetooth technology to connect the tablet with the hardware device.

Business Requirement

The client was involved in building a hardware unit to analyze patients’ breathing patterns.

  • They required a mobile app that would act as a display unit for their hardware unit, and record breathing patterns.
  • Microcontroller Unit (MCU), a cushion-like apparatus fitted on a chair, helps patients view certain vital signs with the help of a smartphone. The client wanted the app to record a list of vital signs in order to assess the patient's physical condition while seated on an MCU.
    • Breathing pattern as a continuous graph
    • Breathing rate
    • MCU state
    • Apnea alert
    • Animated display


  • The app displays the breathing pattern of the person using the hardware unit.
  • It provides a visual (animated lungs) that directs the user to increase or decrease breathing rate.
  • The current breathing rate is displayed as a continuous graph, plotted against time (in seconds).
  • The app shows various states of the MCU such as "Idling," "User Detected," and so on.
  • If the patient stops breathing, the MCU instructs the app to display an alert called "Apnea Alert," indicating that the patient has stopped breathing.

Client Profile

The client is a medical research unit in Singapore and a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. They conduct research and development in information, communications, and media technologies to develop holistic solutions across the communications and media value chain.

QBurst Solution

QBurst designed and implemented an app that runs on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and communicates with the hardware unit developed by the client. Communication between the app and hardware components is facilitated via Bluetooth.

Technical Highlights

  • Bluetooth for communication allows automatic scaling of the breathing pattern display
  • Android SDK framework was used to build the application
  • AChartEngine integration enables graphical view of the breathing pattern
  • Java is the programming language

End Result

QBurst successfully implemented and delivered the product to the Singapore-based medical research firm. Our application converted Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into a display device that conveys information generated by the Microcontroller Unit. We developed the application in just two weeks enabling the client to demonstrate it at trade shows.