Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maxim chip can halve size of medical wearables

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2017



Designers of primary cell wearable medical and fitness applications can halve the size of their products and extend battery life with an ultra-low quiescent current power management integrated circuit from Maxim Integrated.
 
The wearable IC supports an input voltage of 0.7V for high-energy density battery architectures such as zinc air and silver oxide, as well as the more common alkaline.
 
With personal and remote monitoring gaining traction, reducing size and extending battery life are critical benefits. For example, a report by Allied Market Research projects that the global remote patient monitoring market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% to reach $2.13bn by 2022.
 
There are several factors to consider when designing for wearable medical and fitness applications, including small form factor and longer battery life. However, designers typically need discrete components to build a sophisticated power tree; this can take up precious board space, consume high quiescent current and burn through battery life when the device is in sleep mode. In clinical environments, there are additional challenges since rechargeable products involve contacts, clips and charging ports where germs may linger.
 
Using a single-inductor multiple-output architecture, the MAX20310 integrates four power outputs from one inductor each with low quiescent current. This high integration is said to reduce size by half over comparable discrete products, consuming over 40 per cent less quiescent current and improving battery life as a result.
 
“This ultra-small wearable PMIC allows for patient comfort, particularly when it comes to devices which must be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Frank Dowling, director for healthcare at California-based Maxim Integrated. “It also improves active runtime for longer battery life, another essential component for wearable applications.”
 
In clinical environments, primary cell architectures can create hermetically sealed units to disinfect safely between use or even dispose of completely to inhibit patient-to-patient infection. The device suits such applications as non-rechargeable medical patches, environmental and equipment monitoring, and discrete sensors for industrial IoT.
 
Operating over the -40 to +85ËšC temperature range, it is available in a 1.63 by 1.63mm wafer-level package.
 
“Maxim’s new PMIC is a way to improve patient outcomes through continuous monitoring, a trend which is rapidly growing,” said Susie Inouye, research director at Databeans.