Medical electronics is a booming industry. With us all living longer, the need for care - especially for the aged - is increasing. Hospitals need more ‘smart’ portable monitoring equipment that can be located quickly when needed over a hospital wireless network. Couple all this with the tight budgets of our hospitals and clinics and we have an almost ‘perfect storm’ for the development of new family home care products and systems. Treating people in their own homes is not only preferable from a patients’ standpoint, it also reduces costs for healthcare authorities. The electronics industry has seized the opportunity to develop these products, especially those that can be used in a self-help capacity by the patient. Some of these systems can be very sophisticated with the addition of wireless connectivity and the use of tablet PCs.
The enablers for the ability to achieve this massive reduction in size of medical equipment include mass markets such as mobile phones which have played an important role on the electronics side. Displays, processors, and memory have all come down in price along with high performance data converters and amplifiers. There are also important breakthroughs on the biological and chemistry side.
With our current focus on Medical, Health & Mobility, we have endeavoured to bring you the latest developments in this burgeoning industry.
Sparked by Apple Inc.’s adoption of accelerometer technology in its iPhone and iPad lines, the market for motion sensor devices in smartphones and tablets is set to nearly double during the next five years, according to a new IHS iSuppli MEMS & Sensors Special Report. Global revenue from motion sensor technology in smartphones and tablets will expand to $2.1 billion in 2015, up from $1.1 billion in 2011. The motion sensor category consists of a range of products, including microelectromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers, MEMS gyroscopes, electronic compasses–also known as 3-axis magnetometers - and MEMS pressure sensors.
As you will see in our cover story from Dialog Semiconductor, home healthcare will certainly prove to be cost efficient for the health service providers and become a more acceptable form of after-care for patients who will be able to remain comfortable and independent in their own home environment.
All the best
Editorial Director & Editor-in-Chief, Power Systems Design