SR Instruments

SR Instruments workers.

SR Instruments of Tonawanda, NY, has been in the scale business for more than 40 years, designing and manufacturing customized weighing equipment for hospitals and medical centers, veterinary practices, zoos and aquariums, and water parks. The small company is continually working to broaden its worldwide presence by investing in the time-consuming process of exploring new ideas. One notion – an all-in-one device that electronically records a person’s vital signs and other body functions – has been discussed for years. When company leaders turned serious about the concept aimed at streamlining patient data collection at doctor and home healthcare visits, they needed someone with a blank slate, no tribal knowledge, problem-solving abilities and biological/medical insight to research the non-invasive technology market. Their choice: a University at Buffalo biomedical engineering graduate student.

The Approach

  • Received expertise from a high-caliber engineering student who provided research through the UB TCIE Engineering Fellows Program, which subsidizes student support costs. Activities include:
    • Vetting currently available sensors as part of a market study to understand how they operate
    • Compiling data on the reliability and accuracy of numerous sensors from various vendors
    • Identifying original equipment manufacturer (OEM) suppliers
    • Studying U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations

The Impact

  • Established the foundational knowledge necessary to ultimately answer the questions, “How can we build a durable product that meets federal guidelines?” and “How can our technology be less invasive than the competitors’?”
  • Avoided expending time and money by fleshing out existing and emerging technologies
  • Made connections with vendors at Asian tradeshows
  • Provided a UB student with substantial experiential learning over three semesters