Applying Tech: Portable Medical, Part II
How are you influencing portable medical devices?
Jose Fernandez Villaseñor, E.E, M.D.
Medical Enablement Manager, Freescale Semiconductor
Gabriel O. Adusei, MSc, PhD
Independent MedTech Consultant, Founder, Intl. Assoc. of MedTech Consultants
Large medical devices used within a hospital environment often require battery backup and mobility for the patient to transfer to different wards so battery selection is a critical issue. Battery types used in portable medical devices include sealed lead acid for rechargeability, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and lithium ion (Li-ion). An area where significant progress has been made in smaller, lighter, portable devices is the use of ultra-low-power consumption techniques as medical technologies are more field responsive. Li-ion cells offer many attractive advantages for portable medical applications over the older chemistries. Li-ion advantages include a much higher energy density, lighter weight, longer cycle life, superior capacity retention and broader ambient-temperature endurance, and the same amount of power as a NiMH or SLA solution with fewer cells.
Senior Manager, Medical Products Group, Microchip Technology Inc.
The new generation of personal electronic devices was propelled by the idea of apps that let people personalize them to fit their individual needs. Likewise, medical devices need to be smart enough to work in a wide variety of situations without supervision. In both cases, the key component is a processor with substantial computational capability. While portable medical devices usually only have to do one thing, they also have extreme cost constraints, and they often need to be disposable. Small devices mean small batteries, which calls for extremely low energy consumption. Packing a lot of processing “oomph” into a small package is a challenge—doing so while simultaneously meeting power and cost budgets is at the heart of Microchip’s goal to give system designers the freedom to innovate. Our eXtreme Low Power PIC microcontrollers are an example of this.
The mass adoption of personal connectivity gave us texting, tweeting, yelping, and 24/7 socialization. The mass adoption of portable medical devices may finally open up the possibility of better healthcare for more people at a lower cost.
Manager, Medical Products, ZMDI
To ease product development, ZMDI has its own analog IC design technologies plus the corresponding design know-how for extreme low power and low voltage applications. These technologies let designers develop integrated circuits (IC) for a power supply below 0.9 V. Our highly integrated analog experience opens the possibility to reduce external/discrete parts by replacing them with just one IC and one battery with acceptable “on-times.” All together, designers have the potential to develop extremely small, lightweight medical devices for maximum user comfort.
Strategic Marketing Manager, Medical, Molex
Increasingly, the demand within the medical industry for more portable, robust, easy-to-use, and wirelessly connected medical devices is merging with the traditional mobile products market. The portability trend in these merging industries is also influencing commercial behaviors. As an example, Molex recently announced the unprecedented commitment for supporting a core series of Micro products for up to 10 years to accommodate extended product lifecycles in the medical industry.
By repositioning products from Molex Micro Products’ traditional industries and by extending product lifecycles consistent with the medical market needs, Molex is significantly influencing the portable medical device market.