Welcome back . . . .and let's get down to “business”. There's a couple of things to bring to your attention, first; one short, the other longer.
First, it looks like there's a “trend” which will have a major impact on medical markets: remote monitoring of Mom and Dad by their adult children, see here. Even if you take these so-called trend articles with a large “grain of salt”, it is pretty likely that this sort of application and set-up will be a larger part of the adult-care industry. The affect on electronics big and small, wired and wireless–well, you can figure that out for yourself.
Second, safety, safety, safety : we all know about the bashing that Toyota recently took for the alleged “sudden acceleration” crisis. (It's amazing how many instant “experts” and “pundits” there are out there on automotive electronics, isn’t it?) But wait: maybe many of those reported cases weren't quite what they seemed to be, see here, as well as other places you can easily find. The technical and bureaucratic factors in this Toyota situation are not that different from those that affect medical devices and systems, IMO.
These are lessons we all know too well: don’t jump to conclusions when assessing/debugging a problem; first conclusions are often based on erroneous observations; observer bias—whether intentional or not—can really skew what you see or are told. Haven’t we seen these factors so many times before, in debugging or fault-finding in our circuit boards, software, and completed products?
What we have for you : we have a feature article on line-operated power supplies for medical systems, to start. (Do you know what MOP, MOOP, and MOPP are?) We also have stories on designing precision analog front ends, a very common medical-instrument requirement; medical-image quality in mobile instruments; a zero-power standby technique; Bayesian-based fault analysis; debugging using virtual prototypes; and more.
Plus, we have products, news, and an array of insightful, even thought-provoking commentary, of course.
Until our next issue. . . .
Bill Schweber, Medical Designline Editor