SAN JOSE Ė Medical electronics will be front and center at this year's International Solid State Circuits Conference which has chosen the 2011 theme of Electronics for Healthy Living.
Keynoters from Medtronic and Imec will drive that theme home. ISSCC will also host at paper and panel sessions dedicated to medical devices. The focus comes as a lively debate rages over whether technology will fuel or mitigate rising health care costs.
New medical implant technologies hold promise for better health care, but they must be integrated into a system that has the right interfaces, information flow and energy management, according to keynoter Stephen Oesterle, a senior vice president at Medtronic. Oesterle will trace the evolution of implants from pacemakers to devices that treat neurological disorders and a future artificial pancreas.
Jo de Boeck, a senior vice president at the Imec research institute in Belgium, will share the vision of wearable wireless electronics that report on health for a range of medical and wellness applications. He will describe a future multisensory smart patch that can acquire and process data for better decision making. Imec has prototyped such devices in its labs.
To enable that vision, researchers from Korea will report on a wireless transceiver for body area networks that consumes just 0.24 nanojoules per bit. Academics from the University of Washington in Seattle will describe a 0.5mm2 glucose sensor that can be wirelessly powered and is suitable for integration in a contact lens.
An evening session will review standards, security and technology issues surrounding body area networks. Presenters include senior engineers from GE, Texas Instruments, Toumaz Technology and Samsung.