Over the past few decades, medical electronics has played a key role in supporting personal disease management and simple and advanced diagnostics. Examples range from blood-glucose and blood-pressure monitoring devices to fever management with an electronic thermometer. Several innovations that focus on increasing quality of life for users are being made in this space. The considerable progress made in this area has prompted developers to look beyond personal healthcare for medical electronics applications.
A number of applications are emerging that use both conventional and new medical electronics in conjunction with advanced software intelligence known as biofeedback. Devices that incorporate this technology enable users to maintain health or to train for peak performance. Biofeedback already encompasses a diverse range of applications. Simple to complex biofeedback systems and modern semiconductor devices such as ultra-low-power microcontrollers (MCUs), high-end embedded processors, and high-performance analog front ends (AFEs) can contribute to unlimited innovations in the field of biofeedback.
Personal biofeedback device categories include neurofeedback with electroencephalogram (EEG) and hemoencephalogram (HEG), heart rate variability (HRV), stress and relaxation, electromyogram (EMG) muscle-activity feedback, skin temperature and core temperature measurement, and pulse oximetry. Notice that these are reuse and new-use versions of time-tested diagnostic technologies known to the healthcare industry. An increasing number of emerging fitness products are now geared toward enhancing performance as opposed to general-purpose fitness applications.
This article looks at some of these designs in detail and the associated I/O and signal channel. To read it, click here.
About the author
Murugavel Raju is the worldwide manager of the systems solutions development for the MSP430 MCU product group at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas.