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Over time, multitudes of portable, single parameter monitors/meters emerged for measuring such things as blood pressure, glucose levels, pulse, tidal carbon dioxide, and various other biometric values. Today, patient monitors are portable, flexible devices capable of being adapted to a variety of clinical applications, supporting various wired and wireless interfaces. Whether the monitor is a single or multi-parameter device; targeted capability, power consumption and system versatility are often key requirements. Nowadays, a monitor can move with the patient from the operating room to an intensive care unit, to the hospital room, and even into their home. This is paramount in today’s world of health care.
The most important features in today’s patient monitors are mobility, ease of use, and effortless patient data transfer. Mobility includes portability as well as the ability to interface with other medical devices such as anesthesia machines or defibrillators. Ease of use can be achieved with touch screen displays and multilevel menu driven profiles that can be configured for the environment as well as the patient’s vital statistics. Data transfer across everything from wireless to RS232 needs to be possible. Hospitals may support a specific infrastructure throughout all areas; however, ambulance, home and other environments may need support for different protocols. The ever-increasing need to minimize healthcare costs is driving the healthcare providers to move the patient treatment and monitoring outside the hospital. Providing healthcare in highly populated rural and remote areas in emerging economies is driving the need for remote patient monitoring and telemedicine.
The challenges in implementing such patient treatment and monitoring equipments are strikingly similar to cellular phone systems. TI’s OMAP™ technology with embedded ARM and DSP processor cores directly addresses these challenges. TI has extensive analog front end solutions for essential signal conditioning. The OMAP 3 processor performs further digital signal processing, measurements and analytics to monitor patient condition. Powerful ARM processor runs a high-level OS (HLOS) which makes adding multi-modal monitoring easy and provides extensive user interface and system control. Detecting abnormal conditions and communicating to a central server is essential in providing timely and on-demand healthcare. OMAP 3 has extensive peripheral set to support various connectivity options such as Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee and other emerging standards.