Energy-friendly MCU design aimed at remote medical systems

December 10, 2012 // By Julien Happich
Energy Micro announced a partnership with Lamprey Networks to provide energy friendly, secure and certified remote monitoring medical electronic systems.

Using a standard EFM32 starter-kit and HealthLink PC tools, the design includes a USB driver and communications protocol stack certified by Continua Health Alliance. Continua is the international industry organization dedicated to advancing personal connected health by promoting end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity of personal health devices and establishing industry standards for interoperability. The demo platform is based on the USB versions of Energy Micro's EFM32 Leopard and Giant Gecko ranges of Cortex-M3 based, energy-friendly microcontrollers. It will also be applicable to the forthcoming Cortex-M4 floating-point Wonder Gecko.

The energy efficient 32-bit design facilitates fast, reliable development of patient monitoring systems, including blood glucose monitors and a fast-growing number of mobile healthcare devices, many of which require high performance processing matched to the lowest possible energy consumption in order to maximize battery life.
In addition to USB stacks, LNI provides implementations of their HealthLink interface and protocols that operate on common platforms such as Android, Windows, Linux and iOS. This enables users to transfer health and fitness data via multiple transports such as Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE and Zigbee directly to Continua receivers.

Individuals and healthcare professionals can then store and maintain this information on the Microsoft HealthVault internet platform. Devices can also be configured to communicate over a cloud network using LNI’s HealthLink Cloud, a software development kit for back end servers that sends and receives WAN measurement data and enables this to be shared across the health ecosystem.

The 32-bit Cortex-M3 ARM processor was developed for power sensitive applications. Energy Micro’s EFM32 uses the Cortex-M3's low power and high performance, in combination with unique low power autonomous peripherals, to create the world’s lowest power embedded systems platform so that designers can achieve the lowest total energy consumption for their products. Typical applications experience four times longer operation for a given battery capacity when using an EFM32 Gecko microcontroller.
The Energy Micro/LNI demonstration is available free for EFM32 Giant Gecko STK users.