Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (9-19-11): Designing medical devices & systems - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (9-19-11): Designing medical devices & systems

Embedded Newsletter for 09-19-11

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Tech Focus: Designing medical devices & systems


Real-Time Kernels in medical device development (ESC-214)

Sensor fusion brings situational awareness to health devices

A Formal Methods-based verification approach to medical device software analysis

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

For a preview of the kinds of things you can expect to learn about medical device design at the ESC next week in Boston , read “Real-time kernels in medical device development ” by Micrium's Matt Gordon.

In this article and in his class on this topic (ESC-214), Gordon provides an introduction to real-time kernels, focusing on what embedded developers of medical devices need to begin writing multi-tasking apps. For more of this kind of hands-on and practical training in this fast-growing segment of embedded systems design, I recommend a number of other classes, including:

Introduction to personal medical devices (DM-300)
Complying with FDA medical device regulations (DM-303)
Determining the right software for your medical app (DM-302)
Wellness wireless monitoring & sensing for telehealth (DM-306)
Leveraging software separation for safe medical devices (DM-305)
Digital authentication for medical equipment (TH-08)
IEC 62304 compliance for medical device software (SS-308)

For more hands-on practical guides to designing medical devices and systems, here is a collection of recent white papers, webinars, and design articles. My Editor's Top Picks are:

Sensor fusion bring situational awareness to health devices
A formal methods verification approach to medical software
Applying static analysis to medical device software

Design How-Tos

Real-Time Kernels in medical device development (ESC-214)

Micrium's Matt Gordon provides an introduction to real-time kernels with a particular focus on what embedded developers of medical devices will need to know to begin writing multi-task applications.

Sensor fusion brings situational awareness to health devices

A data-centric sensor fusion architecture is essential for building situationally-aware applications.

Using static analysis to evaluate software in medical devices

Researchers at the FDA's Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories investigating new techniques for analyzing software in medical devices are using static analysis tools to uncover potential flaws in a device under review.

Five steps to creating reliable medical devices

Ravi Patel describes a holistic approach to the systems engineering and software development of a medical device.

Taking advantage of opportunities and challenges in medical electronics

With the need for better medical care and access to medical diagnosis and treatment increasing, challenges facing developers of medical devices include portability and miniaturization, connectivity, safety, data security and quality, and reliability.

Applying Static Analysis To Medical Device Software

David Kleidermacher describes in more detail how static analysis tools can be used to improve the software reliability and safety of many medical devices and systems.

A Formal Methods-based verification approach to medical device software analysis

How to use formal methods”based abstract interpretation techniques to mathematically prove the absence of a defined set of run-time errors and a comparison with techniques as code review, static analysis, and dynamic testing.

Buy or Build an RTOS: Does it Matter for Medical Devices?

The development of an electronic medical device requires the consideration of a range of issues: reliability, certification, cost and time to market. Reuse of available proven technology is just common sense, and a commercial RTOS is a good place to start.

Bipolar vs. CMOS: Selecting the right IC for medical designs

The unique demands of medical devices, now and in the future, require the right IC process technology and packaging. Here's a comparison between bipolar and CMOS for medical devices, along with some packaging issues to consider.

Build Safety-Critical Designs with UML-based Fault Tree Analysis – The basics

This three part series describes use of Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) in safety-critical design, taking advantage of UML profiling to create a safety analysis profile, including the definition of its normative metamodel. Part 1: The basics of safety & capturing of fault metadata for analysis.

Building in RTOS support for safety- & security-critical systems

In this Product How-To, LynuxWorks' Will Keegan explain the differences between safety-critical and security-critical applications and how to use the company's two independent RTOSes – LynxOS-178 and LynxSecure – to meet the demanding requirements of each.

Seventeen steps to safer C code

Here are 17 tips for writing safety-critical C code using methods adapted from C++ and Ada.

Call for Abstracts, ESC Silicon Valley

Click here for Call for Abstracts.

Calling all embedded systems engineers! Teach other engineers about embedded systems design techniques at the Embedded Systems Conference, Silicon Valley 2012. Click here to see the ESC SV 2012 tracks . September 30th is the submission deadline.

ESC Boston 2011 Tracks

System Integration & Test
Integrating hardware with software, developing test strategies, managing and executing system test.
Track Chair: Bruce Douglass, Chief Evangelist, IBM

Linux, Android, Open-Source
Evaluating, understanding and using Embedded Linux, the Android platform and other open-source software.
Track Chair: Bill Gatliff, Freelance Consultant

Real-Time Systems
Fundamental real-time concepts, selecting and understanding an RTOS, developing and verifying real-time systems.
Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.

Project Management
Development methodologies, traceable design, developing and managing requirements, agile development, build and change management and other aspects of making a project succeed.
Track Chair: Rob Oshana, Director, SW R&D, Networking & Multimedia Group, Freescale

Understanding, evaluating and programming multiple-processor systems.
Track Chair: Robert Cravotta, Principal Analyst, Embedded Insights

Networking & Connectivity
Understanding and implementing Internet connections into embedded systems, networks within embedded systems and interfaces such as USB and PCI Express.
Track Chair: Christian Legare, Vice President, Micrium

Safety & Security
All aspects of developing and testing systems that must be safe to deploy in life-critical applications, and systems that are secure against malicious attacks.
Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation

FPGAs in Embedded Systems
FPGAs as alternatives to microcontrollers, as signal-processing units, as configurable accelerators, or just as a way of implementing an interface: Selection, design and verification. Understanding and using the FPGA tool chain and how it differs from software development tools. Employing CPUs inside or beside FPGAs.
Track Chair: Mike Santarini, Publisher / Sr. Manager Xcell Journal & Editorial Services, Xilinx

Prototyping Embedded Systems
Model-based prototyping, use of simulation, selection and use of development kits, FPGAs as prototyping aids.
Track Chair: RC Cofer, FAE, Avnet

Microcontrollers & SoCs

Understanding, selecting and programming microcontrollers; Sorting out the ARM architectures; Peripheral and memory issues in MCUs and SoCs, evaluating an application-specific standard product SoC for a project.
Track Chair: Mark Kraeling, Product Manager, GE Transportation

Embedded I/O Systems

Storage, display and input devices for embedded systems.
Track Chair: Larry Mittag, Lead Consultant, Mittag Enterprises

Software Engineering
Reviewing programming fundamentals, building programming skills, software architectures, optimization and best practices.
Track Chair: Niall Cooling, Director, Feabhas Ltd.

Low-Power Design
Hardware and software issues in low-power design. Accurate power estimation and measurement.
Track Chair: John Donovan, Editor/Publisher, Low-Power Design (www.low-powerdesign.com)

Military/Aerospace Design

Hardware, software and methodology practices for military and aerospace applications. Use of these techniques in other application areas.
Track Chair: Dave Stewart, Director of Software Engineering, InHand Electronics, Inc.


USB MCU families tackle medical applications

Silicon Laboratories has introduced two microcontroller families that expand its focus on USB connectivity.

Miniature telemetry crystal targets medical implantable devices

The CX-16 series crystal launched by IQD comes housed in a hermetically sealed ceramic package measuring just 2.0×1.2×0.4mm.

AFEs simplify portable medical equipment design

TI has added on-chip respiration measurement to its ECG/EEG analog front end family to simplify design of portable patient monitoring systems.

Free demonstrator aids MCUs use in medical designs

Eight 32-bit V850 microcontrollers have been added to Renesas Electronics America Inc.'s V850 J Series. Suitable for applications such as portable healthcare equipment and healthcare systems, especially portable measurement and monitor devices such as blood glucose meters, the MCUs provide extended battery life memory for data storage and increasing application needs.

Embedded firewall with dynamic filtering protects medical devices

Icon Labs, provider of embedded networking and security technology, launched t

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