Lifetronics / Medical Engineering

Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems

wireless data transmission in medical applications
Wireless data transmission in medical applications.

Lifetronics stands for the intersection where the fields of Life Sciences and Microelectronics or Microsystems Technology connect. The purpose of this business field is to develop innovative solutions to maintain and improve quality of life. For example: systems which measure and monitor vital bodily functions such as cardiovascular activity, temperature, blood pressure and respiration, physical activity and weight, just to name a few. Systems such as these are being implemented in modern medicine, in the care of the elderly and handicapped, as well as in the fields of sports and leisure, fitness and wellness. They are also finding increasing use in the monitoring of employees with notably high levels of responsibility, such as pilots or engine drivers.

The development of microelectronic components for the improvement and enhancement of implant functionality is one further core area in this business field.

Miniaturization, usability and wireless communication

Our work focuses on multi-functional solutions which set themselves apart not only by their miniaturization, wireless communication and uncomplicated operation: They are suited to practical use in daily life. In addition to Bluetooth and ZigBee based solutions, we have implemented transponder technology for implants in particular, which allows for the wireless transfer of data and power even in these types of battery-free systems.

Sensor and data-transfer technology from Fraunhofer IPMS increases patient mobility and makes long-term monitoring possible in everyday life by replacing stationary medical instruments with portable systems that can be worn on the human body. Cumbersome cables are replaced by transmission paths. Measurements are available to the physician, medical analysis centre or to the trainer immediately and at any time via telephone or internet as required – from anywhere in the world.

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