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DSP kits ease portable medical apps dev't

Posted: 06 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DSP? medical development kit? processor?

Texas Instruments Inc. has released what it claims to be the first medical development tool set with a complete signal chain and software offering for multiple medical diagnostic and patient monitoring applications to accelerate and simplify the development of portable medical devices.

The three medical development kits (MDKs), based on TI's TMS320VC5505 DSP, can be built by purchasing an analog front-end (AFE) module and a TMS320VC5505 DSP evaluation module (EVM), giving manufacturers a jump start on designing electrocardiograms (ECG), digital stethoscopes and pulse oximeter products.

Each kit includes the hardware and software design tools required for each product. These include the schematics, sample application code, medical-specific algorithms and collateral that ease the design process and decreases development time for customers by up to eight months. The MDKs allow the designer to mix-and-match AFEs with multiple processor platforms for maximum software reuse and return on investment. The low power technology of the C5505 makes them more energy efficient with longer battery life. Other features are real-time waveform display and menu options on an LCD screen and audio recording and playback.

The MDKs are for feasibility evaluation by experts in laboratory/development environments only, and not for medical/diagnostic use on patients.

Listening to the heart
The ECG MDK features a FEM with full set of analog circuitry, including the ADS1258 16-channel, 24bit, low power ADC, for ECG applications. It offers defibrillator protection and 4KV isolation. The kit boasts 12 lead ECG outputs using 10 electrode inputs, improving diagnostic interpretations. The C5505 DSP EVM allows for extensive signal processing and medical algorithm implementation, including flexible/configurable filtering, 12 lead computation, QRS detection, leads off detection and real-time ECG waveform and heartbeat rate display on LCD and an external PC.

The stethoscope FEM has all AFE circuitry, including the TLV320AIC3254 low power and low-voltage stereo audio codec, for digital stethoscope applications. Three-channel input option, two condenser and one contact mics i/ps with headphone output option are included. Three selectable modes for stethoscope operation allow the user to hear and focus on sounds of different frequency ranges in order to improve diagnostic accuracy: There are four kinds of stethoscopes modes: Bell mode (20Hz to 220Hz); Diaphragm mode (50Hz to 600Hz); and the Extended range (20Hz to 2000Hz). The kit centers on the C5505 DSP EVM for extensive signal processing and volume control, audio storage/playback and real-time acoustic waveform and heartbeat rate display on an LCD and an external PC.

Pulse points
This MDK is made up of the pulse oximeter FEM and all AFE circuitry, including the DAC7573 DAC and ADS8328 ADC, needed for pulse oximetry applications including common signal conditioning path for red and infrared signals. The kit has a C5505 DSP EVM that performs extensive signal processing, oxygen level percentage calculation ranging from 0 to 100 percent, pulse rate display, sensor off detection and real-time plethysmogram display on an LCD and an external PC.

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