With the healthcare technologies being researched and developed today, remote patient monitoring and diagnostics could replace some doctor’s office visits tomorrow. Wearable devices as small as patches could be used to measure vital signs and, perhaps, administer treatments. Making this possible are an array of sensors, low-power microprocessors and, to protect all of the sensitive data being collected and transmitted, embedded security technologies.
Sensing solutions are enhancing quality of life by monitoring a variety of health parameters, such as heart rate, blood-oxygen levels, and blood pressure. Human body sensors output magnitude signals in the millivolt and microvolt ranges. Our integrated devices for wearable health applications combine sensors with amplification and conversion circuits within a single die or package. These small, high-accuracy solutions provide higher magnitude analog outputs or serialized digital outputs.
Power usage and processing capabilities are important selection criteria for micro-processing applications. To determine which system functions are best integrated into the microcontroller and which can be handled externally, it’s most effective to use a system partitioning strategy. Since wearable health devices read human body signals, the capabilities of any on-chip analog circuitry must also be considered to ensure they can accurately process low-level signals.
Given the small form factor of health-monitoring systems—such as medical patches and other wearables—low power consumption and long battery life are essential. The power system in these devices must be able to regulate voltage from a battery—a voltage source with a declining voltage output. The regulators must be efficient enough to maximize charge usage, and must also supply all of the power rails required by the design. The usable voltage range of a rechargeable Li+ battery ranges from 4.2V to approximately 3.2V. Most wearable products use main power rails that are below the minimum charge of a single-cell Li+ battery, so the main rails are typically sourced by a step-down regulator. Some functions within a wearable product may require a higher voltage level than that provided by a single-cell battery. Thus, the power management function must contain at least one step-up regulator. The number of rails required depends on the device, but for optimum efficiency it is best to minimize the total number of rails.
Sensitive personal data collected and transmitted by wearable and mobile medical systems needs to be protected from the security breaches that are becoming all too common. Our embedded security technologies protect against tampering, cloning, counterfeiting, and other malicious attacks.
Secure authenticator features factory-programmed, unique 64-bit ROM identification number.
Sensor accurately measures temperature and provides overtemperature alarm/interrupts/shutdown output.
Secure memory features crypto-strong, bidirectional, secure challenge-and-response authentication.
Learn more about our Healthcare Solutions, including relevant applications, featured products, and technical resources.
|Tutorial||4702||Easily Add Memory, Security, Monitoring, and Control to Medical Sensors and Consumables|
|Application Note||5790||Boost Performance and Add Functionality to Portable Medical Devices Without Affecting the Power Budget|