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Design example of multi-function biomedical wearable device

Design example of multi-function biomedical wearable device

The market for wearable medical devices is expanding at an impressive pace. Between now and 2019, this sector is expected to experience an increase in revenue of at least 8%. Transparency Market Research has estimated that the global demand for wearable medical devices will constitute close to $6 billion worth of sales annually by the end of this period – or 18-20% of the overall wearables market.

As this business matures, the lines that demarcate fitness trackers, smart watches and professional medical devices are likely to become less clear. A greater breadth of health monitoring functionality will be incorporated into the consumer products that we wear. The roll-out of Internet of Things (IoT) will also have a part to play by providing the cloud connectivity needed to optimise the use of such technology.

As the diagram here shows, new and emerging wearable biomedical platforms need to integrate a wide array of different sensor and connectivity functions and demand processors that combine optimum power efficiency, support for graphics functions and extensive I/O capabilities. This typically means a range of general-purpose IOs (GPIOs) as well as various analogue circuits to provide the interfaces needed for heartrate detection, electro cardiogram functionality and other biomedical sensing.

At the same time, serial interfaces are needed to connect with accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetic sensors in order that spatial and motion based data can be acquired. The GPIOs also take care of simple tactile user input via buttons, while an I2C interface provides for more complex user interaction over the touchscreen. An I2S interface allows the connection of an audio codec, so that voice control can be utilised. Low power short range wireless connectivity is covered by a combination of the UART and I2S interfacing, with both Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Near-Field Communication (NFC) supported. A GPS module connected via the processor’s in-built UART carries out positioning.

To receive more detailed information on this example of wearable biomedical technology, and the graphics processing IC that makes it possible, please click here:

Click here to learn more about the high performance, low power, TZ1200 wearable graphics solution

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