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Healthcare & Personal Devices

Applications Hospital Equipment Introduction (LC)

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Applications: hospital equipment

EBV presents some of the most exciting application examples for the healthcare & wearables market:



Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the affected heart with a device called a defibrillator

As a fixed component a defibrillator usually has an ECG measurement device. In most cases, a two-channel ECG front-end IC is used although in complex solutions a four-channel ECG front-end IC is used. The analysis of ECG data is typically performed on a microcontroller with an integrated user interface. If the ECG records ventricular fibrillation or other indications that require the use of the defibrillator, the microcontroller activates the power unit, which generates a high voltage, which the defibrillator then discharges according to a pre-determined procedure. The equipment varies depending on whether it is an AED, which is specifically designed for use by non-professionals, or a defibrillator designed for professional use by specially trained personnel (usually in a hospital or ambulance). Thus, AEDs have various sensors and a battery power supply that requires the corresponding battery, battery charging and power management. In addition, wireless (inductive) charging is also possible. Defibrillators that are permanently installed in the ambulance obtain their power from the vehicle’s electrical system (12 or 24 V), but still need power management. In an AED the user guide in the form of text, images, voice or video instructions often determines how high the performance level of the electronics must be. If the instructions are in text form, a relatively small microcontroller is usually sufficient but for video instructions, a special video application processor is required.


Dialysis is the artificial process of eliminating waste (diffusion) and unwanted water (ultrafiltration) from the blood

In a dialysis machine, blood from the patient runs through tubes made of a semi-porous membrane. Outside the tubes is a sterile solution made up of water, sugars and other components. Red and white blood cells and other important blood components are too large to fit through the pores in the membranes, but urea and salt flow through membranes into the sterile solution and are removed. In principle, a dialysis machine is a highly complex pump that contains a lot of sensors, a motor controller and elaborate, redundantly designed control and safety circuits. In the case of a defect, failure or power outage a dialysis machine must change to a defined state, which allows the patient to be safely removed from the system without risk. The device is controlled by special microcontrollers or processors, which provide, among other things, the required redundancy for use in safety-critical products. The sensors, the opto-couplers for galvanic isolation and many other elements must meet specific requirements. LEDs, displays and an input unit constitute the core building blocks of the user interface.


Electroencephalogram or EEG is related to the brain and electrocardiogram or ECG is related to the heart. EEG is the equipment used for measuring electrical activities of the brain. On the other hand, ECG is used for measuring activities of the heart

The recording devices ECG (electro-cardiogram, recording the electrical activity of the heart muscle) and EEG (electro-encephalogram, measurement of the total electrical activity of the brain) must be able to detect relatively weak signals. The sensor signals registered via electrodes are prepared by instrument amplifiers, transimpedance amplifiers and VGAs (variable gain amplifiers) in such a way that an A/D converter can convert them to the digital domain. For these applications, EBV Elektronik also offers fully integrated analog front-end modules with up to eight channels, which cover the entire analog signal path including A/D converters, and filter out the useful signals from the ambient noise. Further processing of the ECG/EEG raw data is then carried out using special algorithms with the aid of suitable application processors or high-performance microprocessors based on ARM® Cortex™-A5/A7.There is also the power management system, the user interface (HMI), in the form of a display with input unit, and the communication interface.

Infusion pumps

Infusion pumps are medical devices capable of delivering fluids in large or small amounts into a patient’s body in a controlled manner

May be used to deliver nutrients or medications – such as insulin or other hormones, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and pain relievers. In infusion pumps, a microcontroller takes over the regulation and control of the motor by generating PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signals, which then go directly to the power transistor bridge. In this case, the MCU is able to determine the phase, rotor position and final position with the aid of optical or magnetic sensors. The nursing staff enter the desired flow rate via keypads, and a display allows feedback from the device. For maintenance purposes a USB or WLAN interface is usually built in, where the use of wireless solutions in the ICU is not permitted.

Surgery instruments

Electronically controlled surgical instruments need, in particular, power solutions, high-frequency components and high-frequency transistors

Thus, suitable components include those that were originally designed for applications in cellular base stations or radar systems, or special derivatives of these semiconductors that are often very good for the control of surgical lasers. There is also the logical controller for the power section, the energy management system and the HMI (Human Machine Interface).

Surgery lamps

The light from surgery lamps should be bright and include as little infrared radiation as possible in order to avoid unnecessary heating; a classic LED application

In addition to the LEDs themselves, an LED light source also includes the LED drivers, the LED control system including microcontroller, the power supply, the optics and the heat management. As a pioneer in LED distribution EBV Elektronik covers the entire spectrum of a typical parts list and has many years of experience in the design of LED lights.

Surgery tables

As an operating table must be able to be used over a large area and with a lot of scope and freedom, many servomotors with a complex control system are required

For precise control, sensors provide information about acceleration and position. Input of the desired location is currently still via a remote controller attached by cable, but since in order to improve hygiene (keyword: hospital germs) as few cables as possible should be located in the operating theatre, the manufacturers are currently working on a wireless remote control system whose interface the manufacturers of operating tables are now defining. An infrared remote control system does not interfere with the medical devices by radio waves, but it has the drawback of unreliability. RF4CE, a special interface for remote control systems, and BLE are under consideration as radio interfaces.