Paul Koven, founder of Koven Technology Canada, was dying, and wanted to see his dream of an automatic machine measuring the ankle-brachial-index of patients. With a very short time frame, Elecsys was asked to create a proof of concept.
Elecsys produced that proof of concept in about 6 weeks, using an SBC running LINUX, four modified off-the-shelf blood pressure monitors (selected for their ability to be controlled and monitored through a serial port), and a 2 line x 24 character alpha display, and a few buttons. The result was very large, heavy and not all that pretty – but it worked! We provided a single unit, with rudimentary build documentation (as much as you can expect with a proof of concept!) and a manual, and they took it to St. Louis, MO to show to Mr. Koven.
Paul did see it before he died, and we got the feedback that it was much appreciated.
Koven’s management wanted to build more of the units, but were dismayed when they found out that it wasn’t a finished product. They hounded us for months, asking for more construction details, drawings and blueprints, and alternate suppliers for the components. Time and time again, we patiently explained to them that they had commissioned a proof-of-concept, not even a prototype, and that the each subsequent one would cost the same to build as the first. We offered to put more engineering into the product to make it more polished and manufacturable, for a cost of course, but each time they declined. Then, a couple of months later, they would contact us again about details on how to mass-produce the proof-of-concept.