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Pick the ideal ADC for your medical application

Posted: 16 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:delta sigma ADC? data converter? medical application?

The first of the world's baby boom generation are beginning to retire, and people are living longer, putting a strain on the world's hospitals. But help is on the way. Medical devices are revolutionizing the home health care market, allowing people to diagnose a variety of health conditions without leaving their house. Technology is enabling portable self-care health systems that help people monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, blood sugar and temperature.

Home medical supervision and monitoring systems allow people to take control of their health, but these medical units must be quick, efficient and operate at the most important times. As portable medical sensors evolve, the need for longer battery life and smaller form factor becomes more critical for non-invasive care.

Medical measurement devices typically require some combination of signal conditioning, including amplifiers, filtering, a reference source and an ADC to resolve the sensor's signal. In addition to small size, the analog circuitry reading the sensor's output should feature low power to provide longer battery life and more readings over time. Small, low-power medical devices powered by a wall socket are also gaining popularity due to the availability of smaller, faster analog ICs. Examples of medical units that require a small solution size and low power dissipation include blood analysis systems, pulse oximeters, digital X-rays and digital thermometers.

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