Ultra-low Power Microcontrollers for Portable Medical Device Designs
Bruce Schreiner posted on August 26, 2013 | 17295 views

Texas Instruments has sponsored the following story

Sophisticated and portable medical monitoring, data collection, and reporting devices are enabling advances in medical care outside the traditional hospital and doctor’s office environments.  To develop the most advanced devices, electronics designers need to stay current with the latest developments in components for secure portable data collection and transmission.

Reports project that 10.3 million consumer medical Bluetooth-smart devices will be manufactured between 2012 and 2016, from portable blood pressure, body temperature, glucose measurement, heart rate, cycle cadence monitors and more.  

TI has developed a range of microcontrollers to fill the core design need of these types of devices. These include several ultra-low power MSP430™ MCU families, including the MSP430FR58xx and MSP430FR59xx, built on the “Wolverine” technology platform.

Electronics designers can obtain a sample of the MSP430FR5969 here.

The ultra-lower power draw of the MSP430™ microcontroller is just part of the suitability story for portable medical devices.   Low power 12-bit analog-to-digital (ADC), FRAM non-volatile high write-cycle memory, 256-bit AES encryption, and lockable memory segment I/O are also integral to these applications.   The microcontrollers are supported by an extensive free integrated development and debugging environment.

The core components of portable medical devices include an analog front-end sensor interface, microcontroller, connectivity, power management and conversion, and an audio amplifier.  The MSP430™ provides the required battery/power management, analog-to-digital interface, I/O for display or touch screen interfacing, non-volatile low power memory, and programming for signal processing and communications implementation.  

The medical and fitness-related data from the patients using these monitoring devices at home travels via wireless technologies such as Bluetooth® and Zigbee® to network or cellular devices including laptops, tablets, or cell phones, for eventual transfer to cloud-based storage or Internet servers for collection and review by medical professionals.  

Data encryption becomes important to protect the privacy of the patient’s medical data.  TI’s MSP430FR59xx family of microcontrollers provide the data encryption inherent in TI’s Bluetooth low energy (BLE) implementation, CC2541, which includes the 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES) supported by government standards.

The aging population, governmental healthcare requirements, and the advance of preventative treatments have all created an increased need for portable medical and fitness recording devices.  TI has placed the MSP430FR58xx and MSP430FR59xx families of microcontrollers in a position to meet the core design needs for these devices. 

Wireless technologies and omnipresent networking have created ways to get individual medical data to medical professionals using battery or body-harvested powered portable devices designed with microcontrollers like the TI MSP430™ family.



Texas Instruments has sponsored promotion of their industrial communications solutions on ENGINEERING.com. They have no editorial input to this post - all opinions are mine.  Bruce Schreiner

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