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Bluetooth: At the heart of healthcare

Bluetooth: At the heart of healthcare

'Connected' monitoring devices are revolutionising healthcare. Monitoring devices such as blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, heart rate monitors, and asthma inhalers are increasing in popularity. Via Bluetooth, these devices can connect to PCs, smartphones and tablets allowing patients to monitor their own wellbeing. More than this, the data can be transmitted to medical professionals - in real time if needed - allowing conditions to be monitored without requiring the patient to make multiple trips to the doctor's office.

As many of the devices are portable they rely on battery power. Yet consumers want more features that increase the drain on the battery. As devices become smaller there is less space to add hardware to increase functionality, let alone increase battery size to extend usable lifetime. We are rapidly moving to a point where customers expect a battery lifetime of several years from a small CR2032 coin cell battery. In many cases the requirements compete, meaning designers have to seek out the latest technology and implement it rapidly.

Toshiba recently announced two new ICs that support Bluetooth LE version 4.2 communications. The TC35678 and TC35679 achieve class-leading low current consumption and are ideal for use in healthcare devices - either standalone or with a host MCU.

The new devices include on-chip RF matching networks that reduce design complexity and save a significant amount of board space, thereby reducing costs and enabling today's ever-smaller designs. Alongside the chip solutions, Toshiba offers a complete hardware and software development ecosystem allowing designers to bring new products to market rapidly.

Toshiba has produced a white paper that looks at how designers can use the latest Bluetooth-enabled technologies to deliver the low power, small form factor and security that the latest wearable healthcare devices demand. To download this paper 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.