Why medical devices need FRAM

March 29, 2019 //By William G. Wong
Why medical devices need FRAM
Wearable medical devices face a number of challenges and certification to battery life. Low power operation allows these devices operate for longer periods of time.

There are many ways to do this, including efficient memory utilization. One technology that can prove beneficial to wearable medical devices is ferroelectric RAM (FRAM).

A company that has heavily researched and ultimately applied FRAM is Cypress Semiconductor. I talked with Doug Mitchell, Product Marketing Engineer MPS at Cypress, about the technology and how the company is taking advantage of it.

Why are medical wearables getting so much attention? What advantage will they provide patients/doctors?

Medical wearables are becoming increasingly popular because they can provide a wide range of functions, including both passive and active devices. Active devices such as heart pacemakers, neuromodulators, and infusion pumps offer direct therapies, continuously providing treatments like medicine or electrical stimulation in tightly controlled doses. Passive devices monitor various functions or conditions for diagnosis and can uplink data for healthcare providers to evaluate and act upon.

However, it’s important to realize that the technology for these devices is still in the early stages of development. I would say it’s akin to the early stages of cell phone technology, when these devices were big, heavy, and prohibitively expensive for most people. So, while medical instruments have yet to reach their full potential, we see them reaching mass adoption in the near future. To help ensure this happens, Cypress is working closely with partners to help make the technology more aggressive and self-sufficient to meet patients’ requirements.

Once these devices enter into mainstream usage and more people begin to wear them, the widespread use of these devices will give researchers a large pool of data. And the ensuing “big data” resources will allow for deeper, broader analysis for better understanding, and ultimately, better prevention and treatment of illnesses.


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