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New Tech Tuesdays: These Devices Can Give Remote Health Monitoring a Healthy Reading Tommy Cummings

New Tech Tuesday

Join journalist Tommy Cummings for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

The remote health monitoring industry should be giving off good readings when it comes to the heart of the digital health revolution. It's been a perfect storm.

Telehealth medical solutions in medical Internet of Things (IoT) devices, software, and wearables are rapidly developing at a time when protocols involving the COVID-19 virus are accelerating the demand for health technologies that leverage customer interaction through digital channels.

According to a McKinsey survey, responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years, with many of these changes here for the long haul.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices use digital technology to send communications between patients and providers outside of a traditional clinical setting. In turn, patients can monitor themselves to capture data about their health throughout the day, then transmit secure data in messages to their clinicians or technicians for assessment and, when necessary, recommendations and instructions. Remote health monitoring devices can range from continuous glucose monitors for diabetes patients to digital blood-pressure monitors.

In this week's New Tech Tuesdays, we'll look at new products from Bourns, Microchip Technology, and Kyocera that are crucial in developing remote health monitoring solutions.

Sensors, Digital Devices, Capacitors

The Bourns Precision Sensor (BPS) portfolio is comprised of pressure and humidity sensors designed for demanding applications, which in a medical context include low- to medium-risk medical devices. Specifically, the BPS110 and BPS120 are used for portable oxygen generators, CPAP equipment, diagnostic spirometers, gas chromatography equipment, and facility ventilation pressure. The BPS110 and BPS120 are designed for ultra-low pressure ranges and feature a 1.5 percent FS total error band (TEB) over a temperature range of 0°C to +60°C. The BPS125 and BBS240 handle diagnostic and analysis equipment. The BPS125 modules provide ultra-low-pressure sensing (250Pa) and digital I2C output, and they are ideal for use in clean, dry air, and non-corrosive gas environments. The BPS240 sensor is designed to provide fast response time with an I2C communication protocol, high sensitivity/accuracy, and long-term reliability. Designers will find this white paper on pressure sensors crucial to their product designs.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have an important role in the telehealth segment of the medical market. Microchip Technology's Telehealth/Medical Solutions offer a broad range of products and demonstration design files. Microchip Technology line of medical solutions includes digital thermometers, pulse oximeters, wearable electrocardiogram (ECG), low-power blood pressure meters, and more. Digital thermometers can be found in connected fitness and medical activity trackers. The pulse oximeters are non-invasive devices that measure oxygen saturation blood levels and heart rates and are intended for home medical use and by integrated wrist-worn fitness activity trackers. Pulse oximeters are examples of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and telehealth solutions using cloud technology.

Kyocera AVX T4Z HRC4000 Medical-Grade Solid Tantalum Capacitors are solutions for the non-critical medical device market. These solutions include implantable, non-life-sustaining devices such as implanted temporary cardiac monitors and insulin pumps. The robust capacitors are also applicable for external, life-saving devices such as patient monitoring and diagnostic equipment or a heart-pump external controller. These capacitors are intended primarily to replace commercial capacitors in medical applications where better reliability and change control are required.

Tuesday's Takeaway

RPM programs can help keep people healthier and allow older and disabled individuals to live at home longer and avoid having to move into skilled nursing facilities, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy. These programs can reduce the number of hospitalizations, readmissions, and lengths of hospital stays, which help improve the quality of life and contain costs.

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Tommy Cummings is a freelance writer/editor based in Texas. He's had a journalism career that has spanned more than 40 years. He contributes to Texas Monthly and Oklahoma Today magazines. He's also worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. Tommy worked at Mouser Electronics from 2018 to 2021 as a technical content and product content specialist.

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