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Simple healthcare applications employ Bluetooth® - without a microprocessor

Simple healthcare applications employ Bluetooth® - without a microprocessor

As consumers become more health-aware, Bluetooth is empowering a revolution that extends beyond 'professional' devices and includes an ever-growing number of personal healthcare products. Among the most prevalent are fitness ‘wearables’ that monitor an increasing number of parameters and use Bluetooth to communicate with a smart connected platform (such as a smartphone or tablet).

While sophistication is a key driver in this market as functions are combined into a single product, there is also a significant need for ultra-simple devices that perform a single function, yet retain the ability to communicate via Bluetooth to a mobile or tablet device. In general, the usefulness of this type of healthcare device is heavily dependent on their ability to work from a small battery for long periods of time. While the more sophisticated solutions use microcontrollers (MCUs), these can be expensive and overly complex for simpler applications- and an unnecessary battery drain.

To address this issue, Toshiba recently announced two new ICs that support Bluetooth low energy version 4.2 communications and are ideal for use in healthcare wearables and IoT designs.

For simple / small applications, which will include many simple healthcare sensing applications, the TC35678 and / or TC35679 can be run with or without an additional host MCU. This further reduces system power consumption, cost and size, which is particularly important in the smaller applications where the ideal battery size is also smaller.


In hostless mode, the application code is stored in the embedded flash on the TC35678 or the attached external EEPROM on the TC35679. After a RESET is executed the code is boot-loaded into the embedded SRAM and executed by the Bluetooth processor itself. Commercial debugging software is available from Toshiba to allow programming and debugging of the application code.

The standalone concept is a key enabler for simple function healthcare devices that require the combination of Bluetooth connectivity, small size and extremely long battery life and easy of use.

Toshiba has created a new white paper that discusses the role of Bluetooth technology in healthcare applications. To download your free copy, please click here

Click here to learn more about the advances in Bluetooth-enabled technologies and wearable healthcare devices

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·Before creating and producing designs and using, customers must also refer to and comply with the latest versions of all relevant TOSHIBA information and the instructions for the application that Product will be used with or for.