Medical IoT | Acal BFi SE

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Unlocking new efficiencies in Medical IoT

With digital transformation opening a world of possibilities in medicine, the internet of things (IoT) is making a wave of improvements by connecting devices that can benefit both healthcare providers and patients. The market is still gaining momentum, with healthcare IoT predicted to triple by 2022, giving medical engineers huge opportunities for innovative wireless connected technologies and further investment for their implementation to provide precise, result-orientated healthcare, manage any bottlenecks in care, bridge a gap between providers and patients and reduce overall costs.

Medical devices can collect additional invaluable data, more insight into symptoms and trends and give patients more control over treatments and remote care. Healthcare device manufacturers are now looking to IoT devices to for more precise, results-orientated healthcare, serving more patients, reducing overall hospital visits and improving costs.

With new efficiencies and benefits come new design challenges. Below are the top three challenges for Medical IoT applications to keep in mind:

Complete IoT connectivity solutions

We can help you understand the evolving technologies that underpin current and future wireless connectivity, which means we can recommend the best technologies to overcome challenges and build a tailored proposal that will bring your concept into reality.

We offer a specialist portfolio of market-leading standard and custom products and services which are ideal for the needs of medical applications and meet EN 60601-1's standards. And with a comprehensive range and expertise across every stage of connectivity to help you integrate solutions into your designs - we can get you to market faster without the need to source from multiple suppliers.


These are our suggestions for the best technologies and solutions to keep in mind when designing Medical IoT applications:


Sensor Solutions

At the start of any IoT journey is data generation, whether that’s collecting data from multiple points and consolidating into one central hub, or sharing data from one point with multiple users. The decreasing cost of sensor technologies has encouraged healthcare manufacturers to build smarter, more efficient, economical products.

Perfectly complementing our IoT offer is a comprehensive range of specialist industrial-grade sensors. Capable of measuring almost any physical parameter, our miniature and low-power sensors allow for multiple and combined parameters to be measured and shared with the cloud within one compact component, so you can measure almost anything from almost anywhere. With these sensors you can be sure the data measured is of high quality, accurate and reliable.


Airflow & Pressure Sensors

Medical IoT Honeywell's sensors offer advanced chip design, manufacturing techniques and technology, allowing them to be faster, smaller and more sensitive - perfectly suited to medical applications.

For higher performance, improved productivity, and increased safety, Honeywell's Airflow and Trustability™ pressure sensors guarantee enhanced accuracy and performance, whilst maintaining reliability in demanding applications. With a wide range of ports, connectors, outputs and pressure ranges, these sensors are suitable for applications needing enhanced precision, repeatability and ruggedness, ranging from basic to complex applications such as dialysis equipment, blood analysis, oxygen and nitrogen gas distribution, HVAC devices, process controls, industrial machinery, pumps, and robotics.

 

High-Power lasers

Medical IoT Ideal for the most demanding medical applications, we have a range of diode-pumped-solid-state (DPSS) lasers with pulse width ranges from just 0.4ns to 80ns. They are designed for processing hard and delicate materials that are easily affected by thermal stresses. Designed for high-end applications requiring both excellent beam quality, low thermal transfer and high peak power they are insensitive to vibrations and suited to harsh environments.


 


Need help choosing the right sensor for your application

Contact our sensor experts are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have on the range.

Wireless Connectivity

For the data to be useful it must be accessible, which means connectivity is at the heart of IoT. Devices talking to each other, the cloud and beyond are creating a new digital universe of inter-connected technology. Today there are multiple ways of connecting to multiple networks. The distance, connection time and amount of data transferred all necessitate different solutions. Designing an appropriate network structure with mobility and management on a large scale need not be overwhelming - we offer a complete portfolio of wireless modules, system-in-package components and airtime options.

Each technology provides its own strengths and is perfectly suited to medical applications. To find the right solution for you, browse the options below or contact us today, where our technical team of experts are ready to support, advise and provide a solution perfectly suited to your needs.


Embedded wireless modules

Medical IoT For robust embedded intelligence and simple installation and operation, build lightweight, compact solutions using Sierra Wireless AirPrime modules that deliver mission-critical data performance, low power consumption and the lowest total cost-of-ownership in the industry.

With a wide range of modules to choose from with low power consumption and advanced battery optimization features, also allowing you to futureproof IoT designs with one size, one design common flexible form factor (CF3) that are pre-certified for use across LPWA, 4G, 3G, 2G and are 5G ready for a faster time to market.

Healthcare solution providers can count on Sierra Wireless for secure, 24/7, real-time wireless connectivity. It's no accident that Sierra Wireless solutions are widely used by emergency services and first responders.


Combine these with Sierra Wireless' Airvantage or Octave managed IoT services for a full end-to-end solution for a cost effective platform.


 

SOC (System-on-chip) Solutions

Medical IoT For cost-effective and simple integrations for projects an SOC will reduce risk and accelerate time to market - expanding opportunities for developers to build complete ecosystems through their range of power efficient Wi-Fi products. with built-in embedded input/ output interfaces, control units, processors and data-processing elements, advanced security and rich peripheral interface, these chips support everything from simple plugs to sophisticated smart appliances.


 

SIP (System-in-package) modules

Medical IoT For medium and high-volume opportunities Acal BFi offer Wireless SiP modules from USI. Based on the Broadcom WICED™ chipset, these modules are highly user configurable with the use of the WICED™ development tools. Typically, users of the SIP modules would use the protocol stacks supplied with the SDK and then develop their own application layer using the SDK tools which would run on the module.



 


Industrial Wi-Fi / USB / PCIe / mini-card modules

Medical IoT We have a wide range of industrial Wi-Fi cards from world-leading manufacturers in the most commonly used form factors. Our factory-trained Field Application Engineers can recommend the most appropriate solution based on your preferred form factor and price vs performance trade-offs.


 

Gateways

Medical IoT Secure IoT connectivity for both legacy equipment and new devices. The Lantronix portfolio of IoT Gateways includes a range of secure wired and wireless enterprise solutions for virtually any device providing OEMs and system integrators with secure enterprise-class solutions that provide network connectivity, remote device management, cloud connectivity, and edge analytics for brownfield equipment and next generation connected devices.

Their highly versatile, secure, and IEC-60601 certified Lantronix® SGX 5150 MD Wireless IoT Gateway is specifically for Medical Devices. Its advanced turnkey design provides everything you need to benefit from tracking hospital assets to managing critical patient data.


 

Our IoT team are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have on the Connectivity range.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.


RF & Frequency Solutions

Every IoT and wireless solution requires a form of frequency control. With more than three decades of experience supporting RF design engineers on some of the most innovative designs in Europe, our unique frequency solutions portfolio is provided with the latest technical expertise. Together, you have access to frequency control products from some of the world's leading manufacturers with direct technical support from our experts. Our engineers will quickly and efficiently solve any design challenge, using the right frequency product for your application to provide the most cost-effective solution.


Antennas

Medical IoT Antenna design is critical to a solution's overall performance and having the right antenna can literally make or break your design. The best design and component decisions can be made during the early development stages. We work with carefully selected antenna partners Johanson and ProAnt to source the most appropriate antenna solutions for your application and frequency, whether internal or external, standard or custom.

By using Acal BFi, you also have access to ProAnt's cutting-edge, fully equipped test laboratory. Complete with VNAs and spectrum analysers, ProAnt's unique anechoic chamber allows testing of antennas from 150MHz up to 6GHz. The lab offers simulation capabilities, short-lead-time prototyping and measurement and testing of passive and active antenna designs - Our antenna range includes:

  • Single and multi-band
  • External connectorised antennas
  • Internal chip, patch, PIFA and PCB antennas
  • Customised antennas
 

FEMs

Medical IoT Front End Modules boost the performance of your chosen SoC and deliver stronger wireless signals at a greater range, and can bring a host of other benefits to a medical design. The performance benefits of using a FEM means you can also use a more cost-effective SoC with a more reliable, efficient design reducing the amount of power consumed.

Skyworks support almost every wireless standard with a dedicated FEM solution. Check with our team of experts to discover the latest range.


 

Our IoT team are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have on the RF range. Contact us to discuss your requirements.


Managed IoT Service/Cloud Software

For medical applications, monitoring needs to be 24/7. The collection of huge amounts of data from constant monitoring creates a challenge with managing, storing, transmitting and analysing a huge amount of data. This requires a platform to be reliable and accurate, so as not to cause a mis-diagnosis of a patient due to any loss of data with sufficient power so that its not subject to any failure. With this also comes the risk of a network being vulnerable to attack - problematic when dealing with confidential patient data and traditional network security and encryption technology will not be secure enough for medical applications.


Sierra Wireless AirVantage

Medical IoT Sierra Wireless provides quality-centric global managed connectivity services that keep your connected applications always online. The AirVantage IoT platform uniquely provides all the services needed to create, deploy and manage wireless devices remotely from one secure cloud-based management application. Easily optimize your overall connectivity and keep edge devices always up-to-date and secure with the industry's most powerful dashboard.


 


Sierra Wireless Octave

Medical IoT Octave™ is an all-in-one IoT solution that allows the connection and automation of data-driven processes from industrial assets to the cloud.

Pre-installed on several devices, it will allow enterprises to securely extract, orchestrate and manage data gathered in their cloud infrastructure along with remote management of devices without having to use separate APIs. Allowing enterprises to focus on creating business value with their data, instead of re-inventing infrastructure


 


MACH10™ Global Device Manager

Medical IoT A Production-ready, industrial grade device management solution that enables you to scale faster, maintain and manage multiple devices and gateways centrally. A ready-to-use, on-premise and cloud-hosted software that enables operational visibility and centralised management of your connected devices. Through a single software, MACH10 Global Device Manager allows you to maintain the health, connectivity and security of your products remotely on any device.


 

Our IoT team are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have on the Managed IoT Services range.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.


HMI

As well as wireless IoT and connectivity, we also have a range of HMI solutions ranging from mechanical and wireless footswitches and hand controls, so that we really can support medical design engineers with every step in the connectivity process.


Herga Footswitches and hand controls

Medical IoT Suited to multiple applications within the medical market, Herga have a comprehensive range of Bluetooth, electric and pneumatic actuated foot and hand switching controls that meet a wide range of international approvals.

  • UL and IEC 60601-1 approved, and IPX2, IPX7 and IPX8 rated for medical applications
  • Low-profile footswitches (only 10mm) for prolonged use
  • USB, Bluetooth, bellows and multi-pedal footswitches available
 


Cursor Controls Trackballs

Medical IoT With a range of devices designed specifically for the Medical market including a number of innovative and advanced patented features, the Cursor Controls Medical trackball range includes features such as:

  • Sealing to IP68 (to allow for straightforward cleaning and decontamination),
  • Backlighting options,
  • Anti-vibration solutions to overcome unwanted cursor movement,
  • User adjustable tracking force (ball torque),
  • Custom colour matching options
  • The most tightly controlled and consistent tracking force range available
 


Fibre Optics

Medical IoT Providing versatility and durability to medical applications, fibre optic cables are critical for ensuring the reliability of communication networks. At its most basic, a fibre optic cable is composed of glass threads, each of which can transmit messages modulated onto light waves, and have quickly become the go-to cable solution for communications.

We partner with world leader, OFS to provide specialty high-strength fibre optic cables that are ISO13485 certified, FDA registered, and tested to USP Class VI standards and ISO10993 for biocompatibility and traceability.


OFS fibre is suitable for the below applications

Medical IoT

 

 

Microbial Cabling

Medical IoT Cleanliness, quality and compliance are of great importance in the medical industry, our sister company, Contour Electronics with their industry experience of medical grade cable assemblies and clean room manufacturing is paving the way.

Their microbial cables have been incorporating SteriTouch® masterbatch into their assemblies for several years and are based on ionic silver as organisms find it difficult to develop resistance this material, making it a useful tool in areas where resistance to organic biocides may be a problem such as operating theatres and clean rooms. The SteriTouch® masterbatch added at the extrusion process has no adverse effect on the performance of the base material and will remain effective for the life of the product. Assemblies are manufactured and tested in a clean room with ISO14644 Class 7 standard to protect and ensure that bio-burden is not introduced by the manufacturing process, and supplied in medical device contract packaging.

An innovative and reliable manufacturer of cable assemblies, flexible circuits and full box build electronics with ISO 13485 accreditation, specialising in the design and manufacture of over-moulded cable assemblies using bio-compatible materials, sterilizable by autoclave, EO or irradiation.


 

Our IoT team are on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have on the HMI range.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.


Power Supplies

Every medical device needs power, and with a wide variety of options on the market to choose from, the features each component includes (ie. arc limits, tight line, load regulation and voltage monitoring) can make a huge difference to the overall efficiency and reliability of the end device.


AC/DC and DC/DC converters - Standard and modified

Medical IoT Our portfolio of medical-grade AC/DC and DC/DC converters includes some of the industry's most respected and innovative power supply manufacturers. Our standard range starts at 1W DC/DC converters, includes open-frame components and goes up to 100kW AC/DC for customised power-supply units. Our in-house design and customisation capabilities and network of expert partners enables us to help you find, customise or design an efficient power supply for your application.




Modular

Medical IoT Our modular power supplies give you the flexibility to create your own, user-configurable power supply. The range includes market-leading fan-less, modular power supplies which can be customised with several card modules to create the exact power supply you need. You can flexibly choose from dual output options, various voltages, currents and more. You can also, effectively change the character of the power supply from being a classic power supply, to become a constant current source or charger. We are uniquely positioned, with our in-house design engineers to pre-configure modules, providing you with a bespoke, plug-and-play solution.


 

Contact us to discuss your requirements.



Need help with a custom design?

Medical IoT We offer more than just off the shelf products. We have several custom design services, plus access to R&D teams behind the most advanced technologies.

With our in-house European Technology Competence Centre (ETCC) offering custom support and design for wireless applications, we can give you access to a specialist design team, reviewing services and system design for both RF hardware and software, plus prototyping services. So not only can you source leading products from us you can also ensure your solutions are competitive with our value-added services.



Medical IoT case studies


To get more of an idea of our collaborative approach and expertise in making a critical difference to design projects, these case studies are examples of how we partnered together to bring a solution to market faster:




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