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EETE JULAUG 2012

DESIGN & PRODUCTS MEDICal ElECTRONICS will be seen mainly in patient monitoring devices with direct user interactions and the professional operator interfaces on larger medical appliances. this trend will also push the demand for mobile medical devices in hospitals using the latest ARM processor implementations in smart mobile de- vices. This mobility trend will also extend into the growing market for homecare and mobile point of care appliances based on cloud applications. Q:Do you expect that innovation in electronics will help widen these markets? A:Yes, definitely. Cloud computing applications Fig. 3: The Kontron PCIe Medical LAN Card replaces a standard LAN card will open space for the medical electronics mar- and external insulator with an IEC60601-1 compliant component, which also ket. But all depends also on the money national increases the operational safety as unsafe network connections are eliminated. economies can spend for their health care sys- tems. We see the largest potential in applications where innovations in electronic appliances can save cost, but based on open and proven standards to ensure easy migration our products are found in applications throughout the medi- or upgrades paths. cal industry including image-processing, patient monitoring, diagnostics, point of care, therapeutical and surgical systems Q:Do you have an example of the type of system used in the as well as clinical IT. Our competences are built around the e-Health market? embedded computing core - the smart binary brain - which we deliver wherever possible as application ready platforms. These A:it is not easy to decide about the most important platforms platforms include hardware integration services like oS cus- we have for the e-health market between embedded computer tomization and licensing, driver support, customized hardware boards, system level products and even an e-health kiosk design, certifications and obsolescence management. system. Lately, we have introduced our first i7 products with One huge and growing market is the home healthcare segment. Intel´s 3rd generation Core-i processor technology. We have every patient staying at home instead of the hospital with con- also strategically entered the market of high-end ARM proces- tinuous monitoring and communication of his health parameters sor based products. produces by far less cost. The other market can be found in the And finally, AMD has introduced some very attractive solutions fields of the patient data creation and handling/sharing. Nurses for high-end embedded graphics processing. So we come can save cost if they spend less time with the administrative along with the latest state of the art processing technologies for work on each patient. Thus we see smart mobile devices like patient monitoring systems, diagnostic systems, surgery appli- tablets coming to the hospital floors and paper records will ances as well as bedside systems. And our offerings combine be eliminated more and more. A sub-segment in this area of standard boards and systems together with full custom ser- patient oriented electronics devices is the infotainment at the vices for our OEMs. Our customers pay less for more quality patient´s bedside. to design extremely energy efficient low power appliances up to high end data processing technologies such Q:What are customers asking for? as the upcoming 4D medical imaging platforms. Many of these platforms are also offered with A:the most important request is dedicated certifications for the medical device to reduce research and develop- market to further reduce the time taken to reach ment cost, which are twice as high the market. as in other manufacturing sectors. one way to reduce the oeMs’ Q:What does all this mean for Kontron? development efforts is to buy standard or semi-standard em- A:We have a wide variety of global medical tier bedded computing technologies 1 and tier2 suppliers to the medical health sec- as application ready platforms tor as our customers. As we focus on serving from suppliers. This way OEMs medical oeMs we see a major trend towards can concentrate on their core even more application ready system implemen- competencies: the application tations. We have by far more demand in the area development. Another important of individual system design and manufacturing. aspect due to generally smaller Custom specific look & feel is here one key budgets will be that customers requirement as well as hardware integration ser- have a closer look at the systems’ vices such as driver support and OS integration. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Fig. 2: The IEC60601-1 compliant Kontron We also see growing demand for the new ARM to reduce tco, systems and the Medi Client IIA 150 offers OEMs a highly designs in customized designs with mobile and used components have to be reli- reliable platform with flexible mounting low power qualities. For example there is the able as well as long term available. nvidia tegra 2 processor on a pico-itX moth- options and the longevity required by the to achieve this, future product will erboard or nvidia tega 3 on a mini-itX mother- medical industry. rely on systems and components board and ULP-COM Module. 36 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2012 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2012
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