Single chip for remote patient monitoring devices measures four vital signs

Synchronised measurement of ECG (electrocardiogram), heart rate, SpO2 (blood- oxygen saturation) and respiration rate can be achieved using a single chip from Analog Devices. The MAX86178 triple-system vital signs analogue front end (AFE) from Analog Devices has been developed to simplify the design of wearable remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices by measuring four vital signs with a single chip.

The MAX86178 enables synchronised optical heart monitoring photoplethysmography, or PPG, and ECG timing, to provide health metrics which can replace office-based health monitoring systems with smaller, lower power, wireless devices worn discreetly and continuously in the home or office.

The MAX86178 triple system AFE integrates three clinical-grade subsystems into one IC, namely  an optical PPG sub-system to measure heart rate and SpO2, a single lead ECG sub-system, and a bio-potential and bio-impedance (BioZ) sub-system to measure respiration rate. All of these functions are integrated into a 2.6 x 2.8mm package, enabling the size of the end product to be minimal.

Wearable RPMs need to operate at low power to either permit the use of smaller batteries or to extend battery life to allow more convenient charging requirements. The MAX86178 provides each subsystem with configurable options to optimise battery life for specific use cases.

“By integrating three healthcare subsystems on one piece of silicon, Analog Devices builds on its DNA and delivers this sensor-fusion product,” said. “This AFE . . . presents new possibilities for chronic disease management, contagious disease diagnosis and remote monitoring,” says Andrew Burt, executive business manager of the industrial and healthcare business unit at Maxim Integrated, now part of Analog Devices. “The MAX86178 enables small body-worn devices that can improve healthcare delivery and lower costs by keeping people out of the hospital,” he added.

Analog Devices also offers the MAX20343 buck-boost regulator and the MAX20360 power management IC for the MAX86178. The MAX86178 is available now in a 2.6 x 2.8mm WLP. Analog Devices also offers the MAX86178EVKIT# evaluation kit.

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