Single-chip wireless sensor lowers medical device costs

July 21, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Customisable wireless medical sensor chip targets mass market
The eSi-MediSense single-chip, wireless medical sensor from EnSilica significantly brings down costs of wearable medical devices

Called eSi-MediSense, it claims to be the market’s only single chip medical sensor with wireless capability. By integrating everything into a single chip, it brings costs down significantly: for example enabling a health monitoring watch to drop in cost by well over 50 percent.

The ultra-low-power platform is able to work with multiple processor and DSP configurations and has an optional machine learning accelerator such as the Arm Ethos-U55 that enable artificial intelligence to be designed into medical sensors - both reducing the frequency of wireless communication and extending battery life.

The platform supports the accurate and reliable measurement of ECG, heart rate, respiration rate, pulse oximetry and temperature. A flexible interface is also provided for electro chemical-based measurement such as amperometric, voltammetric or impedance measurements.

Applications include recyclable smart plasters; physiotherapy monitors to track orthopaedic recovery, track abnormal heart conditions; or provide non-invasive glucose monitoring. By continuously monitoring expected versus unexpected activity, it is able to flag the need for medical assistance autonomously.

After processing, data is encrypted and transmitted over either the 2.4 GHz ISM band radio (Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / proprietary and medical), a sub-1 GHz MBAN standard or an ultra low power standard such as BLE 5.0 or 802.15.4. An NFC-A tag can be integrated to simplify device pairing and enable medical sensor data to be read by a smartphone.

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