Content - Medical Electronics

Medical Electronics

ALFApump® is a registered trademark of Sequana Medical AG

ALFApump®

Customer: Sequana Medical AG

Patients with liver disease, congestive heart failure and certain cancers can suffer from Ascites; the accumulation of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity. Certified in 2011, the ALFApump® is an implantable pump, that automatically and continually collects the excess fluid moving it into the bladder (up to 2.5 litres per day) where it is eliminated from the body in the normal way.

The ALFApump® with it's wireless Smart Charger reduces the number of hospital visits required freeing up hospital beds and staff, it also reduces the risk of infection and affords the patient a new level of freedom and a significantly improved the quality of life.

Our Contribution
  • Re-designed electronics and firmware for new generation of pumps to be used in human clinical trials (one rigid-flex, no connectors)
  • Software development for motor controller
  • Develop recovery algorithm (in case of Hall sensor failure)
  • Design and development of wireless charger (first 2 generations)
  • Revision of wireless communication protocol
  • Optimisation of energy transfer system
  • Initial technical documentation for CE submission
  • Continued support (as and when required) 

Functional prototype

«AMON» Alarm & medical MONitor

Customer: European Commission, 5th Framework Project (FP5)

«AMON» is a wearable medical monitoring and alert system targeting high-risk cardiac respiratory patients. The main objective of the AMON project was to research, develop and validate an advanced, wearable personal health system to monitor and evaluate human vital signs using advanced bio-sensors. The scientific and technological challenge was to design a wearable monitoring device that will be small, dependable and contain the necessary data for an impending medical emergency.

The system developed includes continuous collection and evaluation of these vital signs, intelligent multi-parameter medical emergency detection and transmission of the data to a remote telemedicine centre, for further analysis and emergency care using a GSM/UMTS cellular infrastructure. The development & testing of the on-line Telemedicine Centre was conducted in parallel, including system testing, validation & assessment by end-users in hospitals around Europe. Using «AMON», patients who are not confined to hospital (including the high risk and elderly) are able to continuously monitor and analyse their vital signs, providing care at the point and time of need, increasing freedom of movement and enhancing overall quality of life.

The wrist mounted monitoring device (WMD) developed includes algorithms and sensors to monitor human vital health parameters such as heart rate, heart rhythm, 2-lead ECG, blood pressure, SpO2 blood saturation, skin perspiration and body temperature. Applying aggressive low-power design techniques enabled the whole system to be integrated into a wrist-worn device, continuous long-term monitoring without interfering with the patients' everyday activities or restricting their mobility.

Our Contribution
  • system design & sensor control board
  • main board integration of partner supplied sub-systems & sensors

«EMERGE»ncy Monitoring & Prevention

European Commission, 6th Framework Project (FP6)

Demographic trends in most European countries are forecasting a massive increase in the elderly population and a dramatic increase in emergency situations. Elderly people living alone are especially endangered as delays in alerting medical emergency services often leads to prolonged hospital stays resulting in an increasing number of elderly people being placed in nursing homes; at significant additional cost and an unnecessary deterioration in their quality of life. It has been recognised that daily activities are an important part of the functional health status and are often influenced by habits, age, culture, day of the week and the time of year. Activities like sleeping, going to the toilet, preparing meals and general mobility, which follow certain individual stereotypes have shown to be sensitive to changes in daily routines.

The «EMERGE» project was tasked with researching ways to improve the support of elderly people, with innovative emergency detection and prevention systems. The main objectives of the project being:

  • immediate detection of an emergency: enabling reduced reaction times and early initiation of definitive help
  • early recognition of a problem’s nature and severity: enabling adequate multilevel reaction, with close integration of social environment, caregivers, EMS and emergency physicians
  • emergency prevention by early detection of changes in behavioural patterns: analysis of user behaviour and personal tracking enables detection of critical deviations which may indicate deterioration in health status and helps anticipation of potential emergencies
  • minimum implication on the elderly user’s habitual lifestyle: ambient and non-obtrusive technology leads to higher user acceptance

How does the «EMERGE» System work?

The system collects and analyses data on an on-going basis from various data sources, e.g.

  • ambient and unobtrusive sensors that acquire environmental information (e.g. temperature, humidity, and light intensity)
  • activity information (e.g. usage of environmental objects determined by pressure sensors and contact switches, and usage of devices determined by energy consumption sensors)
  • location tracking information acquired by active and passive sensor systems (e.g. RFID carpets, Ultra Wide Band (UWB) sensors, ultrasonic and infrared presence sensors)
  • vital health parameters are acquired using sensors integrated into a wrist wearable device which measures pulse rate and skin temperature
  • stand-alone devices measuring blood pressure and body weight can also be integrated into the system

Functional Prototype

«EMERGE» Print

«EMERGE» SensoWatch

European Commission, 6th Framework Project (FP6)

Developed during the EMERGE project, the SensoWatch is a key part of the system; an automatic monitoring device that incorporates multiple sensors into a single wrist device, enabling continuous monitoring of several ;important health parameters, e.g.

  • pulse, skin temperature
  • movement measurement in all 3 dimensions, lack of movement, overall activity
  • acceleration (impact recognition followed by a period of no movement raises a fall alarm)

 

Medical personnel are notified immediately in the event of unexpected (or serious) deviations, enabling them to respond appropriately and quickly. Continuous monitoring allows an alarm to be raised in the event of potential helplessness (e.g. after a fall or loss of consciousness) without active intervention by the user. Even in the absence of an impact, a no movement alarm is raised if the person is helpless. No alarm is sent if the person stands up immediately after the fall...this enables every fall to be recognised while helping to avoid false alarms.

Worn like a normal everyday wristwatch, the SensoWatch continuously transmits data to a base station and (if necessary) a call for help, without adversely affecting a person’s mobility, thereby greatly increasing the ability of the wearer to continue to lead an active life. The timely provision of information to caregivers in an emergency or in the case of long term deviations or inconsistencies is an essential prerequisite for the independent life of elderly people in their preferred environment…at home!

User Benefits
  • alarm button that can be activated by the user to call for help
  • “forget-me-not” alarm (if not being worn during the day)
  • low battery alarm, internal re-chargeable battery
  • compact design (actual weight is only 46g)
  • unobtrusive continuous measurements
  • USB connection (for PC configuration)

Lenz - intelligent anti-snoring system

Customer: Earsonic GmbH

When we are awake throat muscles keep the throat open so that air can flow smoothly during breathing. During sleep the area at the back of the throat sometimes narrows as these muscles relax and the turbulent airflow can cause the tissues of roof of the mouth (soft palate) and the throat to vibrate, which in turn can cause the sounds of snoring.

Possible causes of snoring are:
  • overeating, lack of exercise
  • alcohol, sleeping pills, smoking
  • allergies, nasal congestion, small or narrowed nostrils
  • sleeping position, breathing through the mouth or tongue vibration

 

The Lenz is a patented anti-snoring aid that has been digitised and miniaturised especially for use in the ear. This high-tech device responds to your snoring with a gentle beep... you change your sleeping position and stop snoring, without waking or side effects. The Lenz is comfortable to wear and virtually invisible allowing you - and your partner - to sleep peacefully and undisturbed.

Our contribution
  • Development of functional principles and algorithms
  • Design and development of prototypes (hardware and software)
  • Redesign of the software on the OEM device
  • Extensive testing, verification and validation of the device
  • Create production tests
  • Support for the CE approval

«PHOCNOSIS»

European Commission, Horizon 2020 Project

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the European Union accounting for 1.9 million deaths, i.e. 40% of all deaths in the EU each year. Despite costs of almost €196 billion per year CVD can be successfully treated and managed, if detected early.

To this end, the «PHOCNOSIS» project aims at the development and preclinical validation of a nanotechnology-based handheld point-of-care testing (POCT) and analysis device for fast and early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Our Contribution

Art of Technology is responsible for the design and development of the electronics, mechanics, software and system integration of the POCT device that will detect CVD from a few drops of patient’s blood in less than 10 minutes using new nano-photonic sensing techniques developed by the Polytechnic University of Valencia to detect markers for cardiovascular disease.

The consortium comprises
Polytechnic University of Valencia (ES) University of Twente (NL)
Bionos Biotech SL (ES) University of Aalborg (DK)
Genera Biotech SL (ES)EV Group E. Thallner GmbH (AT)
Fraunhofer Institute - IZM (DE) St. George's University of London (UK)
CDA GmbH (DE) Art of Technology AG (CH)