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Printed Electronics World
Posted on December 13, 2007 by  & 

Digital plaster with printed battery UK

Toumaz Technology believes that demands on healthcare throughout the developed world are changing. The combination of the global demographic trend towards an ageing population coupled with a sedentary western lifestyle and poor diet is leading to higher probability and earlier onset of chronic disease. Factoring in the growing patient demands for personalised treatment, medicine and services, the result is huge cost pressures on healthcare.
Healthcare information systems in use today were mainly designed to manage acute illness, such as infections and injury, making them ill-equipped to cope with the growing requirement for pervasive monitoring of long-term conditions. With healthcare budgets already overstretched and fewer carers - professional and non-professional - available to meet these increased needs, the forecasted additional demands are simply unsustainable using current practice. A new paradigm is required.
The Toumaz Sensium™ has just won an "Innovation in Engineering Award" from the prestigious UK Institution of Engineering and Technology. Toumaz Chairman and Co-founder Professor Chris Toumazou said "It is great to see our platform technology out there and receiving such a positive response from global healthcare, medical device and pharmaceutical companies and now Award judges too."
It is an ultra low power sensor interface and transceiver platform for a wide range of applications in healthcare and lifestyle management. The device includes a reconfigurable sensor interface, digital block with 8051 processor and an RF transceiver block. On chip program and data memory permits local processing of signals. This capability can significantly reduce the transmit data payload.
Together with an appropriate external sensor, the Sensium provides ultra low power monitoring of ECG, temperature, blood glucose and oxygen levels. It can also interface to 3 axis accelerometers, pressure sensors and includes a temperature sensor on chip.
One or more Sensium enabled digital plasters continuously monitor key physiological parameters on the body and report to a basestation Sensium plugged into a PDA or Smartphone. The data can be further filtered and processed there by application software.
The Toumaz Sensium™ provides the enabling technology to connect the mobile individual to healthcare providers. Incorporated within the Sensium platform is the capability to intelligently process data locally and provide real time feedback to the individual and improve their lifestyle choices.
- Gathering information rather than just raw data: On-chip signal processing is able to intelligently extract the critical information from sensors, providing feedback to the patient and enabling healthcare providers to focus on the important issues.
- Ultra low power: Patented AMx™ technology coupled with both low power radio and intelligent information handling results in an ultra low power, body worn solution. Enabling non-intrusive continuous monitoring, resulting in freedom of movement for the patient.
- Disposable: Ultra-low power and low voltage operation leads to the use of simple, low cost "printed" batteries. Very small silicon area - achieved through highly efficient design - creates new possibilities for Sensium-enabled products that meet the medical need for disposability while delivering immense technical functionality.
- End-to-end system: The Sensium provides the low power radio link from the patient through to the telecommunications network and into the healthcare provider's databases and monitoring systems. Providing new levels of reassurance and new service delivery models.
Wearable sensor nodes (target stations) support a range of sensors generating data at rates up to 50kbps. Very low level analog signals from the sensors are preprocessed by nano power circuitry (amplification, filtering, data conversion, data compression, modulation etc.) before being transmitted as an RF signal. This low power RF signal is then transmitted to the base station. The base station can be linked to up to 8 target stations, each monitoring multiple physiological signals on the body.
Toumaz have now secured a patent in Australia for its AMx™ (Advanced Mixed Signal) technology - the technology behind Toumaz's Sensium™ platform and already have an agreement with Healthe International - a leading health and wellness group operating in Australia and the Asia Pacific market - to develop Sensium-based applications for elite athlete training and optimisation of sports performance.
IDTechEx were advised by a Toumaz representative that the printed battery used together with the Sensium to make the digital plaster, will be a thin flexible battery, similar to that from Power Paper. However, at this stage no decision has yet been made about the final battery supplier.
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Posted on: December 13, 2007

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