Power Supply Energy-self-sufficient cardiac monitoring system wins design contest
Entering a recent design contest themed “Ideas for power-saving applications,” Alpha-Board emerged the winner with its prototype of an energy-self-sufficient monitoring system for checking the vital functions of cardiac patients. The contest was launched this year by the trade magazine Elektronik Praxis.
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The basis of the contest was the Oryx Board, a reference design offered by Arrow and Sharp for extremely energy-saving mobile applications. Running at full capacity, the Oryx Board consumes only 42 mW of power.
In the first round of the contest, applicants submitted proposals and ideas for energy-saving applications in the form of a diagram and a brief application description. The jury then selected those submissions that were judged to present the most interesting and promising approaches. Elektronik Praxis provided an Oryx Board to each of these five finalists free of charge so that they could develop a functioning prototype and compile documentation to explain this system’s function and potential area of use.
The monitoring system from Alpha-Board analyses the user’s heart rate and temperature and records the measurements with a time stamp. Measurements are stored intermediately in an attached RFID tag. Thus, the data can be read at any time, on demand, by means of an RFID reader. In addition, the system compiles an initial patient-condition report based on the vital statistics gathered. Various heart conditions, such as brachycardia or tachycardia, can then be signalled on a built-in display. An acceleration sensor incorporated in the system makes it possible to determine with assurance the current physical position of the patient, whether standing or lying down.
The system uses a solar module to generate energy continuously for its own operation. This energy self-sufficiency eliminates the costs of recurring battery changes and offers additional mobility to the user, with better quality of life a concomitant benefit.
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