Reconfigurable Embedded Systems Applications for Versatile Biomedical Measurements

Luca Cerinaa and Marco D. Santambrogiob
Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informatica e Bioingegneria, Milan, Italy.


Nowadays, the majority of the monitoring devices used in clinical settings is limited to specific applications and powered by highly specialized microcontrollers and preprogrammed DSP systems. Moreover, these kind of devices are usually connected to a high capacity battery to operate in case of power blackout. Nevertheless, considering that all the measured bio-signals depends from an amperometric or potentiometric transducer, it should be viable to integrate them on a single device with multiple probes, reprogrammable sensor-fusion capabilities and on-board signal processing. Within this context, in this paper, we present a design concept for such a device. Exploiting FPGA reconfigurability, various analog front-ends can be connected to the device and configured to return the measured signal or the output of the desired signal processing to the user. Multiple case studies with different sensors and end-user applications are described. The high degree of parallelism and the reduced frequency of the embedded FPGA coprocessor make it suitable for all the applications that are subject to medium/low power and cost constraints such as portable Point-of-Care devices or emergency medical centers.

Full Text (PDF)