Family Self Care, the health solution based on essential oils

NetDevices offers you an article dedicated to :

The Family Self Care Company

French start-up Family Self Care was founded at the end of 2017. It specializes in robotics, connected objects, artificial intelligence and consumer electronics for everyday health. It was born from the vision of founder Brigitte Thito. She has twenty years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Examples include Tambrands/Procter & Gamble, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Merck Consumer Health and Boots Healthcare.

The company has developed SelfCare1®, a new technology that meets customers' expectations. These concern the natural prevention and effectiveness of their body and mind care through the use of essential oils. Initially, Family Self Care offered customers an essential oil kit with the SelfCare 1 intelligent dispenser, connected to an associated application . This machine connects to theapplication expert coaching system activated via Bluetooth in the customer's cell phone. The aim is to dispense personalized and precise doses of essential oils in response to health problems. A user profile can be defined (age, sex, contraindications). Use is possible at any time: at home or in the office. 

The machine'sapplication then controls a cartridge placed in the robot (8 daily wellness oils) for a long period of time. It selects the combination of essential oils required, and gives instructions for use, so that no oils are wasted.

Example ofapplication

A sportsman who uses essential oils to relax his muscles. Theapplication is based on his profile and his needs. She recommends mixing a dose of exotic basic oil with a dose of rosewood.

Mobile applications

As part of the design of our client Family Self Care's first smart essential oil dispenser, the NetDevices team joined the company's project in December 2019 to develop the SelfCare1 applications. 

Mobile applications allow users to connect their cell phones to the machine to create wellness oil blends. 

Our Lead Dev Mobile Benoît designed the specific communication protocol based on BLE (bluetooth low energy) applications so that it could communicate with the machine.

The main steps were

  • Study of the code and hardware protocol of the machine
  • Choice of Bluetooth libraries React Native
  • POC (Proof of Concept) and choice of stack
  • Integration of React Native libraries in apps

1 - Study of the existing situation

The first step of an existing project was to study the source code (React Native, PHP mainly), then to propose an architecture of the project as a whole and to propose the bases of the implementation of the applications.

2 - Search for libraries 

The first part consists of studying a technical document supplied by the hardware manufacturer (a document describing how the machine communicates).

In parallel with this study, Benoit is also researching native react BLE libraries.

In computing, a library is a set of functions. These are based on a specific code and language. The main advantage of using a library for developers is that it saves time.

As part of the project, two libraries were chosen to enable the use of the bluetooth module on smartphone . Each library was chosen by the community on the basis of the number of known bugs, the quality of the documentation and, above all, maintainability. In fact, each library has had several versions over the year.

3 - POC

Once the selection had been made, we created a POC for each library. Generally speaking, this is a project with a minimum of code, little design, and little or no error handling, and is used to validate technical choices before embarking on complex developments.

4 - Integration of the library into applications

After validation via the POC and selection of the best library, the next step was to integrate this library and manage the communication / control of the SelfCare1 dispenser.

Finally, it wasn't enough to integrate a library in its own right: it had to be adapted to incorporate the various protocol features expected by the machine.

5 - Overall project

Finally, Benoît took care of the development of the application screens and the writing of automated tests (Mocha, Enzyme, Chai). 

Since March 2021, the first deliveries of the SelfCare1 machine have started, in the USA and in Europe!