Q: What are customers asking for?
Unrath: The most important request is to reduce research and development cost, which are twice as high as in other manufacturing sectors. One way to reduce the OEMs’ development efforts is to buy standard or semi-standard embedded computing technologies as application ready platforms from suppliers. This way OEMs can concentrate on their core competencies: the application development. Another important aspect due to generally smaller budgets will be that customers have a closer look at the systems’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
To reduce TCO, systems and the used components have to be reliable as well as long-term available. To achieve this, future products will rely on systems and components based on open and proven standards to ensure easy migration or upgrades paths.
Figure 2: The IEC60601-1 compliant Kontron Medi Client IIA 150 offers OEMs a highly reliable platform with flexible mounting options and the longevity required by the medical industry.
Q: Do you have an example of the type of system used in the e-Health market?
It is not easy to decide about the most important platforms we have for the e-health market between embedded computer boards, system-level products and even an e-health kiosk system. Lately, we have introduced our first i7 products with Intel´s 3rd generation Core-i processor technology. We have also strategically entered the market of high-end ARM processor-based products.
And finally, AMD has introduced some very attractive solutions for high-end embedded graphics processing. So, we come along with the latest state of the art processing technologies for patient monitoring systems, diagnostic systems, surgery appliances as well as bedside systems. And our offerings combine standard boards and systems together with full custom services for our OEMs. Our customers pay less for more quality to design extremely energy efficient low power appliances up to high-end data processing technologies such as the upcoming 4D medical imaging platforms.
Many of these platforms are also offered with dedicated certifications for the medical device market to further reduce the time taken to reach the market.
Figure 3: The Kontron PCIe Medical LAN Card replaces a standard LAN card and external insulator with an IEC60601-1 compliant component, which also increases the operational safety as unsafe network connections are eliminated.