Wearable Health

Nearly all of the human-body signals traditionally monitored in a clinical environment can now be collected by a wearable product, very often with close to the same level of precision. These traditional signals include:

  • Pulse/Heart Rate
  • Blood Oxygen
  • Stress
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
  • Body Temperature
  • UV Light (Skin Exposure)


Power and Battery Management

In a wearable product the power system 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.

Power Management ICs for Wearables 


Power usage and processing capabilities are important selection criteria for micro-processing applications. A system partitioning strategy must be used to decide which system functions are best integrated into the microcontroller and which can be handled externally. Since wearable health devices read human body signals, the capabilities of any on-chip analog circuitry must also be taken into account to ensure they can accurately process low-level signals.

Microcontrollers for Wearable Applications 

Sensors and Sensor Interface

Human body sensors output very low magnitude signals, in the millivolt and microvolt range. 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.

Sensors for Wearable Applications 

Featured Products

Wearable Charge Management Solution


This battery-charge-management solution includes a linear battery charger with a smart power selector, several power-optimized peripherals and up to five regulated voltages, each with an ultra-low quiescent current in a 2.7mm x 2.5mm package.

High-Performance, Ultra-Low Power Cortex-M4F Microcontroller for Rechargeable Devices


These microcontrollers combines high-efficiency, signal-processing functionality with low cost, and ease of use. The device features 4 powerful & flexible power modes. Built-in dynamic clock gating and firmware controlled power gating minimize power consumption for any application. The MAX32621 incorporates a trust protection unit (TPU) with encryption and advanced security features.

Pulse Oximeter and Heart Rate Sensor for Wearables


This pulse oximetry and heart-rate monitor biosensor module includes internal LEDs, photodetectors, optical elements, and low-noise electronics with ambient light rejection for mobile and wearable devices.

Ultra-Low Power, High-Performance Cortex-M4F Microcontroller for Wearables


These are ARM® Cortex® -M4F 32-bit microcontrollers with a floating point unit, ideal for wearable applications. The architecture combines ultra-low power high-efficiency signal processing functionality with significantly reduced power consumption and ease of use. Both include a hardware AES engine. Further, the MAX32631 incorporates a trust protection unit (TPU) with encryption and advanced security features.

Wearable Charge Management Solution


This battery-charge-management solution includes a linear battery-charger with 28V tolerant input, smart power control, and several power-optimized peripherals. A boost regulator with 5V to 17V output, and 3 programmable current sinks can drive a variety of LED configurations.

32-Bit ARM Wellness Sensor AFE


ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit RISC CPU includes 256KB of flash memory, 32KB of SRAM, a 2KB instruction cache, and integrated high-performance analog peripherals.


Our wearable healthcare solutions provide additional information on designing wearable health products, including examples and block diagrams of typical wearable designs.

Wearable Healthcare Solutions

Related Resources

Type ID Title

Wellness Watch: A Wearable Wellness Platform Example
2:25 min
November 2014

Body Temperature Measurement: Send and Receive With Wearable NFC
2:00 min
November 2014

Pulse Oximetry Measurement: Wearable Oxygen Monitor for Active Lifestyles
2:06 min
November 2014

Fit Two Shirt: A Wearable Wellness Platform Example
2:08 min
November 2014