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The use of semiconductor technology of information between doctors and patients management

Print View , by: iSee ,Total views: 34 ,Word Count: 3256 ,Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 Time: 10:02 PM

Semiconductor technology to the medical system to produce a far-reaching impact. Patient monitoring, drug transfers, as well as many other applications can be collected patient information, quickly process the data, and then through the hospital network, critical information will be transmitted to those who need information, thereby enhancing human resource capacity. Monitoring system from almost anywhere in the world to transfer data back and forth, not only can work without the need to increase resources to provide accurate load data transmission, but also let a lot of applications to anyone with an Internet connection at home to achieve. In some cases, such systems can be controlled treatment programs, for example, transfers of drugs according to a predefined schedule.

To achieve this type of remote monitoring and data processing, first of all need to have a sensing, control and communications functions of the simple platform, which may include an rf transceiver in order to improve portability and simplify operations.

Ready-made components from a simple chip set at a reasonable cost, to provide sensing, control, transmit the information required for full functionality. Figure 1 shows the three components of the chipset interaction between. We need to micro-controller (in this case, MC9S08GT family members), to deal with the information received from the sensor, then sensor and then send the information to low-power transceiver. The micro-controller on the market today can be any of a general-purpose 8-bit micro-controller, it is with analog (ADC), as well as the necessary dedicated embedded memory, designed for wireless transceiver on the networking standards (for example, a simple proprietary wireless protocol IEEE802.15.4 or ZigBee) use.

The use of semiconductor technology of information between doctors and patients management

Figure 1: Using the Freescale Semiconductor chipset component provides an example of Freescale Semiconductor for medical and other industrial and consumer applications to provide sensing, control and ZigBee RF functionality.

Moreover, micro-controllers and transceivers can be combined in one package, create a more compact and efficient solution. Figure 2 shows the Freescale's System in Package (SIP), SIP uses a standard consistent with IEEE802.15.4 wireless transceiver and the HCS08 microcontroller core.

The use of semiconductor technology of information between doctors and patients management

Figure 2: the use of compatible MC1321xSIP Freescale MC1319x transceiver and 8-bit HCS08 microcontroller core.

Sensor Technology

Sensor is monitoring the status of the patient point of contact. Pressure sensors and acceleration sensors can be in a variety of different applications used in medical monitoring. In Figure 1, chipsets example, all other components are used for processing and dissemination of sensors collecting information.

Typical piezoresistive sensors (typically used in pressure sensors) from the composition of etched silicon diaphragm, membrane and implanted into the piezoresistive element. The physical pressure (such as the air pressure increase), piezoresistive materials will change the resistance. Silicon piezoresistive pressure sensors provide a very accurate linear voltage output, and is directly proportional to the pressure.

Acceleration sensors through changing the voltage output levels indicate changes in the operation. High acceleration sensors - like flying MMA6280Q Freescale's dual-axis (X and Z) low-gravity device - far more complex pressure sensor. It consists of two surface micromachined capacitive sensing cell (g-cell), as well as included in a single integrated circuit package composed of the signal conditioning ASIC. The use of micro-mechanical sensor wafer, sealed in wafer layer.

g-cell is a semiconductor process used to form the mechanical structure, which is a group connected to the central axis of the beam, the central axis to move between the two beams. g-cell capacitors beams form two back to back, with the center beam to accelerate movement, the distance between the two beams are also constantly changing, the value of each capacitor is also changing. ASIC switching capacitor technology used to measure the g-cell capacitors, and from the difference between the two capacitors to extract speed data. ASIC also conducted signal conditioning, and signal filtering, which provides proportional with the acceleration of high output voltage.

g-cell architecture can be used to develop a number of different acceleration sensors. MMA7260Q Freescale has developed a three-axis low-gravity sensor (measuring X, Y, and Z axis movement), but also a step forward. To demonstrate the accelerometer feature, Freescale has developed a three-axial sensor reference board (STAR), designed to help customers in markets such as medical monitoring accelerometers to achieve critical applications. In the past few years, the acceleration sensor has undergone significant changes, including increased sensitivity, reduced power consumption, package size reduction. Similar to the STAR This tool will help developers learn how to better use of the latest technological advances.

Sensors and micro-controller applications

The sensor provides 3 V or 5 V analog output, must be processed before they can send and save for the medical personnel for analysis. ADC with a low-cost general-purpose 8-bit microcontroller is sufficient to complete this work. In essence, the sensor will generate analog signals, and the signal input to the ADC, and then through the communication interface (such as RF transceiver) or direct Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection, deal with them, be converted into a computer or monitor device can use the digital signal. More accurate ADC (such as 10-bit and 8-bit) to ensure a more clear input and output signals.

In general, the 8-bit processing speed sufficient to process the data rate and algorithm for compression and decompression functions. However, they require flash memory capacity depends largely on the transceiver used in communication protocols. For example, the processing of data required for ZigBee-compliant memory have been far less than a simple point to point wireless connections. Sensors and 8-bit controller, combined to provide a compact, cost-effective solution, although the low power consumption, but collecting and processing a large number of useful data. These data can be related to radio equipment, sent to the remote location, or used to provide on-site treatment services. Some sensors and micro-controller, the price is very low, so once the system was able to use, these systems may only run a few days have been discarded and replaced.

An interesting application of such technology is Insulet Corporation's OmniPod insulin management system provided. OmniPod is designed to replace the traditional insulin pumps, equipment requirements of these older patients with diabetes to learn to use them, but also carry large amounts of heavy components, such as insulin library, infusion devices and blood glucose detector. OmniPod system consists of two full integration of wireless components, namely: a small, self-adhesive disposable OmniPod Insulin storage and delivery systems, with wireless receivers and personal blood glucose Manager (PDM); a PDA-sized handheld device (with micro-controller and radio transmitter). Patients can through this program the OmniPod handheld devices to issue customized insulin delivery instructions. It can also monitor the OmniPod's operation, including an integrated blood glucose meter, you can automatically save records. The system can pre-set based on the patient's personal foundation for the transmission rate and dose of insulin.

Personal Diabetes Manager (Personal Diabetes Manager, PDM) of the design is very compact enough to carry in a pocket or purse. OmniPod in the semiconductor and shape memory alloy wire to activate (for insulin delivery) component of the price is very cheap, the equipment used can be discarded after a few days. Through such applications, the patient can be cost-effective, more comfortable environment (such as in their home) to manage their own treatment and condition. In addition, they can extend the wireless capabilities similar controller devices in order to directly connect to the Internet gateway, thereby directly and medical service providers to exchange test results and dosage instructions.

Another use of sensor technology is an example: not only to monitor the patient's symptoms, but also to determine the circumstances under which the symptoms appear. For example, those suffering from incontinence disease patients, you can use with a pressure sensor, microcontroller and RF transceiver of the durable equipment to monitor even very small leaks, and transmission time and flow data, such data should preserved for future analysis. If the system also includes acceleration sensors, can record all the activities of the patient, such as lying down, standing, walking and jogging, to help nurses to determine whether there are some factors that trigger a specific physical activities, so as to implement a more effective response measures.


Wireless communication technology allows for portable sensing and processing equipment for patients and caregivers become more effective. It also allows devices to seamlessly transfer data to other networks, such as hospitals Ethernet, CAN systems or the Internet, in order to achieve global access. In Figure 1, Freescale's low-power 2.4GHz ISM band transceiver family MC1319x short-range data links and networks to provide a cost-effective solution. Through the 4-wire serial peripheral interface (SPI) connection, a user with a variety of micro-controller to communicate directly. software and processor can be extended to accommodate a variety of applications, ranging from simple point to point system has been to a full ZigBee network.

To conduct a simple proprietary wireless connection, only a physical layer (PHY), as well as for point to point and STAR network application software, a simple media access controller (SMAC). A simple lack of wireless connectivity memory requirements 2.5Kb, very low power requirements for the applications, it is a very cost-effective, these applications include portable one-time medical monitoring equipment.

In 2003, IEEE released a standard based on 802.15.4 simple packet data protocol for lightweight wireless networks. This powerful communication protocols including the 802.15.4PHY and the media access controller (MAC). For those who need long battery life, the need for controllers, sensors and remote monitoring to provide an optional delay applications, the use of 802.15.4 effect is very good. 802.15.4 wireless connectivity for simple higher security, mesh and cluster tree can be used in network applications.

IEEE802.15.4 protocol standard features for full compliance with ZigBee standards laid the foundation for embedded platform. ZigBee stack, including network and security layer, application framework, application configuration file (which can be loaded into line with the standard 802.15.4 transceiver above). Figure 3 on a simple wireless connection, meet the 802.15.4 standard solutions, ZigBee platform, these three were compared, including their memory requirements of micro-controller (using Freescale S08 core) and the wireless transceiver examples ( MC1319x series of equipment).

The use of semiconductor technology of information between doctors and patients management

Figure 3: Comparison of medical monitoring applications for wireless communication solutions for the three requirements, they all use the Freescale S08 mcu core and MC1319x wireless transceiver.

ZigBee has a number of compelling features, making it a medical monitoring applications, the most competitive candidate for the program. Many applications are just the regular run, or run only a short time. In order to put with minimal power consumption, which greatly extend the battery life, ZigBee and Bluetooth can enter sleep mode, only when necessary wake-up and communication, to extend battery life. Wi-Fi can not sleep - wake - sleep mode, efficient operation, it must always be open, it makes it unsuitable for many applications.

ZigBee and Bluetooth can work in a very short cycle operation (1% duty cycle mean that the application is only 1% of the time is running), but the delay is a major advantage of ZigBee. Bluetooth device may take several seconds to wake up, and begin to synchronize with the network communications. On the contrary, ZigBee does not require pre-synchronization in communications, which will awaken to the communication delay be shortened to 27 milliseconds. This allows more accurate scheduling, in each wake-up cycle to extend battery life.

ZigBee can also increase the memory or the appropriate software, from simple point-to-use extended to large-scale mesh network environment.

Communication extension

Hospitals and other medical facilities, greater reliance on network communications to move large amounts of data, so that other people who need the data to more easily access. Controller Area Network (CAN) was originally developed for automotive applications, can be connected to a series of information-sharing need to rely on instruments and monitors. CAN can be connected to an Ethernet backbone for the entire health care organization-wide data transmission. However, the hospitals most of the devices are portable, usually fixed to the trolley. Through the short-distance wireless communication, can be achieved with the building of permanent backbone network connections, even if the cart continuously from one room to another room to push.

Similarly, the home medical monitoring equipment can also be Wi-Fi access point or home networking gateway cable or DSL to connect to the Internet. Once connected to the Internet, patients can be the key to monitoring information via a dedicated web site access, dedicated web site medical personnel can also provide quick access to patient medical records. Management of the hospital just the flow of information from multiple sources in order to conduct effective analysis of information to achieve between doctors and patients faster and more accurate response.

Medical Monitoring Gateway

Today's medical staff access to patient information channels more than ever, however, if in case of emergency did not interconnect data, analysis, recording and responding to, we can not implement the diversity of information. One of the key emerging application of the composition from the medical monitoring of the gateway, these gateways allow the medical staff from the local and the central base station monitoring, and connectivity devices. From different hospital room equipment such as respirators, heart monitors and agents from the central base station controller, and so can be carried out safely remote monitoring. Bedside and medical-related equipment can be connected via Ethernet to the local microprocessor-based medical monitoring gateway, if it is with the traditional medical-related equipment, through the serial RS-232 port to connect to the monitoring of the gateway. Under normal circumstances, every aspect of the gateway with the central router with wires connected to it with the central base station to connect.

The microprocessor used in the medical gateway must provide connectivity and security, extend product life. Specially designed for the application of the latest generation of microprocessors provides a variety of connectivity options, such as the number of 10/100 Fast Ethernet controller, USB and queued serial peripheral interface. The latest generation of microprocessors helped the overall security Ethernet network to provide secure point to point communications, rather than give an impact on system performance. For the data received from the bedside device, a microprocessor will be encrypted, and then send it by Ethernet to a central base station before. At the central base station to decrypt the data and parsing.

The use of semiconductor technology of information between doctors and patients management

Figure 4: Using the MCF5275ColdFire Freescale embedded processor block diagram of the medical monitoring for the gateway.

In addition to a central base station from the remote monitoring of the specified medical equipment bed inside the room, the medical staff also want to use USB interface, in the patient's ward access to the same data. For example, with the USBOn-The-Go (OTG) port of the PDA, users can gateway USB-Ethernet adapter port to access the system. USB-OTG is a new supplementary USB2.0 specification, by increasing the USB peripheral device connectivity and enhance the existing mobile devices and USB peripherals to existing features. With this additional USB functionality, medical service providers for each patient to the hospital for medical treatment to keep track of the status of the patient.

Personal contacts

Under normal circumstances, there is no alternative to voice communications. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a very interesting technological applications, its consumers and business users in the application of the increasing popularity of, and demonstrated its great potential for the medical services industry. It can provide more voice communications services. For example, beds can be used VoIP technology, and nurses stations, and other departments in wireless communications. As the information as data packets transmitted on the Internet, which can be transferred to almost any place, for example, for many hospital services, the center of treatment area, or transferred to the individual's mobile phone to adapt to the expanding doctor / patient relationship. Moreover, VoIP text and voice data can be directly saved to the database to meet the demand for fast retrieval, to avoid the use of bulky tape storage systems.

This summary

Hospitals must make an unprecedented high efficiency to record, processing, transmission, save a large volume of data, while also cutting costs, this is indeed a very demanding requirements. In hospitals and clinics around the world in semiconductor technology are helping the health care industry to achieve this goal. In addition, the semiconductor technology also provides some tools to enable patients to spend more time at home and less in hospitals and other medical facilities in time to help patients enjoy life. In addition, through advanced network communications, the doctor can enter the family, issued a virtual call the family, health service providers will be able to get timely, accurate information, and use this information more efficiently manage the treatment. Semiconductor technology will be a doctor / patient relationship extends to the family, extends to the world in any one place. It is for patients and health care personnel who are a very useful technology.

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