Multi-sensor development kit aims at Personal Health Monitoring
The development kit builds upon imec and Holst Centre’s ultra-low power multi-sensor data acquisition chip (MUSEIC). Its combination of accuracy and ultra-low power allows reliable monitoring for several days with a single battery. Additionally, its high integration enables developing smaller, more comfortable products.
According to imec program director Chris Van Hoof, one of the major limitations of innovative personal healthcare applications is the availability of open hardware platforms in the right small form factor. The development kit aims removing this limitation by offering a lightweight, customisable platform that equally enables the design of new applications as well as of field studies.
The development kit consists of a customizable sensor layer (including 3-lead ECG, bio-impedance, accelerometer and microphone), the MUSEIC chip, SD card storage, a Bluetooth (4.0) and Bluetooth low-energy compliant radio, and a separate ARM Cortex M4 processor. The MUSEIC chip can collect data from a wide range of both analog and digital on-body sensors; in addition it is capable of performing basic signal processing. It features analog interfaces optimized for three-channel ECGs, bio-impedance and tissue impedance. Additionally, a two-input general-purpose analog and six digital (SPI and I2C) interfaces allow the chip to connect to sensors biomedical and physical sensors. A low-power ARM Cortex-M0 processor is included to control the sensors and perform basic signal processing. Dedicated hardware accelerators handle matrix operations and motion artifact reduction, off-loading these tasks from the Cortex-M0 processor to improve performance and reduce power consumption.
A typical use case would be collecting ECG, bio-impedance and 3-axis accelerometer data. In such an application the evaluation kit consumes on average only 10 m W – low enough for at least a few days of monitoring on a single battery charge.