DSI Sense — Manage Skin Care with IoT

    We helped take DSI Sense from Dermedia to production. Building a full stack production ready device is indeed a challenge. Dermedia had started working on the PoC pre-pandemic. The hardware prototypes were ready, however firmware and software challenges were still ahead.

    We started with firmware, utilizing our AWS IoT Library solution to rapidly implement provisioning, data Ingest and shadow update features. We had also started work on building the companion cross platform app. The product use Wi-Fi, BLE and host of AWS IoT cloud services.

    We helped architect the full solution with several AWS services. These include IoT device management, Lambda functions, DynamoDB, and push notifications.

    We also built a manufacturing tool to aid production of the first batch. Dermedia is gearing up for it’s first launch and we are keen to support them with more fixes and features.

    Device Firmware

    This is yet another product built using the BuildStorm AWS IOT solution. The platform reduced the entire product development time by 3-4 months. The main focus was on application development as the BuildStorm platform took care of AWS core functionalities like device provisioning, shadow updates, MQTT data ingest and OTA using AWS jobs.

    • Device provisioning was done using the companion app using Bluetooth. App performs fleet provisioning and send the final certificates to the device.
    • Provisioning using app helps the migration of servers and on field device registration.
    • Shadow updates with device status, temperature, firmware versions etc.
    • MQTT data ingest to publish the sensor data. Further processing is done using the lambda functions.
    • Over the Air (OTA) updates using AWS jobs.
    • Sleep and wakeup to reduce the power and device heating.
    • Test mode for product validation during the production.
    Mobile Apps — iOS and Android
    DSI-Sense is an app for skin care, it keeps track of the skin’s indoor drying stresses in order to help with skincare. This is made possible with the aid of a DSI device sensor, with which the app connects through Bluetooth (BLE) and the Internet of Things (IoT) cloud.

    The app analyses the information it receives from the sensor on the smartphone and, based on the findings of the analysis, advises the user to take good care of their skin.
    For example, it will notify the end-user to use a ceramide-based moisturizer when a predetermined threshold is reached.


    The Ionic Cordova framework was used to create the Progressive Web App (PWA) for the DSI-Sense app.
    The PWA framework was chosen so that the codebase could be reused on any platform that supported it. In this example, the codebase is shared by the Android and iOs platforms.
    Using this framework has decreased the effort required for development while also conserving resources for the client.


    The use of native APIs, in this case, the Bluetooth (BLE) API, was the biggest difficulty we ran into during the development process, but we were able to overcome it and make it possible to implement our unique algorithm.

    App Deployment

    The app is available to download from Google Playstore and Apple’s AppStore.

    Cloud Implementation — AWS

    The DSI sense application is a server less application, meaning it doesn’t utilize a conventional server.
    For its server less operations, it makes use of the fantastic AWS cloud services.

    The following services are included in AWS server less operations:

    1. AWS IoT for the Internet of Things operations, i.e., interacting with the device sensor.
    2. DynamoDB for the data store.
    3. Lambda for any complicated computations.
    4. Cognito for user management.

    We chose the server less architecture since it will be simpler to manage the application,
    we won’t have to worry about scalability, and it will also lessen the vulnerability of the systems.

    Furthermore, it also uses Google Cloud for the Notification service known as Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM).


    Continued Development and Support

    We continue to build and support the app for new features and functionality. We are excited to see the devices going into production and eventually to the end users.


    “The BuildStorm team provided excellent support for a complex IoT project that involved major firmware upgrades, a hybrid mobile app, enhanced Cloud functionality, and quality control software for the IoT device. I highly recommend them.”

    David Layton, Ph.D., Owner, Dermalapps LLC, USA