Posts Tagged ‘medical’

20 April, 2015

This past week, medical systems have been on my mind. It is not because I am sick – at the time of writing I am nursing a heavy cold, but that does not need medical intervention. It was my annual visit to my ophthalmologist that started me thinking about medical instrumentation. Most people have sight checks every 2 years, but as my father is Type 1 diabetic and suffered glaucoma many years ago, a more frequent check on my eyes seems prudent. This is why I got to experience all the medical electronics.

I was given a thumbs up – nothing to worry about with my eyes – which is always a relief, but, as I said, it left me pondering all the technology that was brought to bear … Read the rest of this entry »

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5 January, 2015

Although I regard the New Year as a time to look forward, I am continuing my catch-up process of cataloging embedded software articles that I have had published on embedded.com in the recent past. This time they cover medical systems, C function parameters, the basics of multitasking and the Forth language… Read the rest of this entry »

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28 May, 2013

I always find it satisfying to see simple solutions to apparently complex problems and the world of embedded software certainly lends itself to some creativity. My concept of “simple” is quite broad, but essentially encompasses anything that is easy to understand [for me] and ideally avoids reinvention of any wheels.

A while ago, I wrote about incorporating a Web server [HTTP server actually] into an embedded device so that information might be displayed on any connected Web browser. Along the same lines, I have been thinking about using email … Read the rest of this entry »

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10 January, 2011

I am very interested in medical electronics, as I have written about here previously. In particular, I am always keen to learn more about the role of software in facilitating the functionality of devices. I recently encountered a particularly interesting example of the impact that the software can have.

Just before Christmas, I went to a session to donate blood – specifically I donate platelets, which I have discussed before. I noticed that the display on the machine looked slightly different and asked about this. The nurse told me that it had had its “brain” refurbished … Read the rest of this entry »

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19 July, 2010

I have always for medical electronics interesting and I have blogged about it from time to time [here and here, for example]. Part of the reason for my interest stems from an occasional feeling that so much of the electronics around me is ultimately pointless. Many Mentor Embedded customers are making consumer devices, cell phones and other gadgets. Do we really need all of these? Aren’t they really just toys – harmless toys, but toys nevertheless? [Except for my iPad, of course, which is a positive influence on my productivity and overall wellbeing.] Worse still, some customers are actually making weapons and they are not harmless at all!

However, we have many customers who make medical devices. I only have to look at a medical instrument and I have a warm feeling inside that maybe electronics can do some real good. The other aspect of medical instrumentation, that I find intriguing, is the extent to which its implementation clearly tracks the latest trends in embedded system development … Read the rest of this entry »

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15 February, 2010

There is a lot of buzz about Android at the moment. Indeed, I have written about it here, as has my colleague Scott. A lot of the discussion is around the topic of the new Android-powered smart phones that seem to appear on a daily basis. Just about every handset manufacturer seems to have jumped on the bandwagon. I have no problem with this. Far from it. I really like my Android phone and would encourage anyone to look at what is available. Although Google seem to be strongly focussed on dominating the mobile handset market, I think that the application of Android in other areas, beyond mobile, is much more interesting … Read the rest of this entry »

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27 July, 2009

For some years, there has been discussion about how embedded devices are increasingly becoming connected. WiFi enabled home appliances are one possibility. Everyone has heard about fridges that order the groceries. I love the concept of the Internet enabled toaster, which checks the weather forecast and burns a symbol onto your morning toast to tell you what to expect.

All of this is great, exciting even, and we are moving in this direction, but there are other possibilities that have hardly been touched yet. There are a few issues with WiFi devices: they need to be in range of a wireless network, they consume quite a lot of power and their implementation may be overly complex, if only small amounts of data need to be transferred and that transfer is just unidirectional. There must be another way …

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6 July, 2009

I have just been taking a short vacation and, while we were away, we met up with some friends. Their son was very excited to be the owner of the very latest model of iPhone. He was very keen to show us all the cool features and how slick it was to operate. I liked his enthusiasm and I was impressed by the device. But somehow I had two simultaneous trains of thought. First, I concluded that the iPhone did not really have any capability that I did not already have in my aging Palm device. Second, I found myself desiring one of these things – the slick user interface was like a Siren’s call.

I am safe enough, as I write this I am in a little Cornish village. The only shops around here sell pasties and tourist tat – not an iPhone in sight. But it got me thinking about how critical the UI is for a device like this.

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12 May, 2009

We have a great many customers who are in the business of making medical equipment and instrumentation. Given the enormous increase in the use of electronics in hospitals and medical facilities, this is not too surprising. Our success in this area has come about naturally – the products just fit the needs of these developers. We have not really promoted ourselves in this space or adapted anything to address their requirements. This has led me to start thinking about what we could do to help make medical instrumentation even better.

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@colin_walls tweets

  • My latest video blog is now available. I talk about the use of a memory management unit [MMU] in an embedded system https://t.co/aSVECLARgl
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