Canadian manufacturer Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. describes its innovative wireless chip for implanted devices:
Physicians can use MICS technology to remotely monitor patient health without requiring regular hospital visits. For example, an ultra low-power RF transceiver in a pacemaker can wirelessly send patient health and device performance data to a bedside base station in the home. Data is then forwarded over the telephone or Internet to a physician’s office, and if a problem is detected the patient goes to the hospital where the high-speed two-way RF link can be used to easily monitor and adjust device performance.
During surgery, a physician can use the higher data rates and longer communication range afforded by MICS technology to program the performance of an implanted device outside of the sterile surgical environment.
“Zarlink’s MICS transceiver provides several orders of magnitude increase in data transmission rate and communication range compared with previous technologies, offering an ultra low-power consumption and highly integrated radio telemetry solution,” said Steve Swift, senior vice president and general manager, Ultra Low-Power Communications, Zarlink Semiconductor.
“Our MICS radio platform ensures implanted medical device manufacturers can design systems that meet strict global standards. The higher data rate and extended communication range of our radio transceiver enables advanced in-body communication systems, such as implanted blood glucose sensors controlling insulin intake for diabetes patients, networked stimulators restoring lost limb function or pacemakers using the high-speed wireless link to signal emergency response during a cardiac event.”
Since most implanted medical devices do not require constant communication, and instead transmit data on a scheduled or as-required basis, the average “sleep” current is a key design factor. The ZL70100 radio transceiver contains an innovative ultra low-power wake-up system with an average current demand of just 200 nA (nanoamps).
The ZL70100 supports industry-leading transmission rates of 800 kb/s for raw data and 500 kb/s for usable data, while consuming less than 5 mA (milliamps) of supply current while active. With the ability to aggressively duty-cycle the radio transceiver, the ZL70100 allows implanted devices to quickly transmit large amounts of patient health and device performance data with minimum impact on the battery life of the implanted device.
The press release