This blog series deals with the potential of the utilization of smart electronic ICs in medical care applications; these ICs are produced by companies in the field of semiconductors such as STMicroelectronics which has a broad portfolio of ICs for medical applications:
“As these devices interact directly with a patient's health, ensuring the highest possible degree of safety and reliability as well as accuracy when processing data is a major challenge, especially in life-critical systems.” (Source: www.st.com)
Another interesting application in the field of medical electronics is the realization of pill distributors enhanced by electronics technology (see Figure 1):
“Helping patients – especially the elderly and those with complex prescriptions – take their pills on time is growing in importance, especially today when medical staff might have less face-to-face and more remote interactions with patients. A smart pill box can have a patient’s own posology programmed on a NFC tag and then release the lid of the specific portion of the box opening at the right moment. We provide near-field communication (NFC), RFID tags and Bluetooth Low Energy wireless connectivity solutions and a large variety of MEMS environmental sensors, ultra-low-power STM32 microcontrollers, high-precision operational amplifiers and ultra-low-power regulators to help develop advanced smart pill boxes.” (Source: STMicroelectronics)
The block diagram of a Pills Distributor with smart ICs integrated (Source: STMicroelectronics)
The Pills Distributor shown in the Figure 1 above incorporates some ranging and proximity sensors as a part of the sensing block; the sensitivity and reliability of such types of sensors is very important for the effectiveness of the overall system (see Figure 2).
p>The block diagram of “The VL53L0X is a new generation Time-of-Flight (ToF) laser-ranging module housed in the smallest package on the market today, providing accurate distance measurement whatever the target reflectances unlike conventional technologies. It can measure absolute distances up to 2m, setting a new benchmark in ranging performance levels, opening the door to various new applications.” made by the STMicroelectronics Company (Source: STMicroelectronics)
The importance of a systematic approach to the medical applications by means of the utilization of ICs, that are compliant with safety and reliability standards, is underlined by the progressive adoption of such systems outside hospitals and clinics, in order to make the life of patients more comfortable.
Do you think this approach is effective? Do you think this solution will be further developed and enhanced?