Analysis of home health and medical electronics industry in the post-epidemic era

Over the past year or so, the world has been plagued by the COVID-19 epidemic, and the rising awareness of related diagnosis and treatment facilities and personal health care has driven the growth of market demand for home health care and equipment. In addition to the popularity of the capital market – the current yield of A-share medical-related industry funds remains in the double-digit range – some trends that have already appeared will develop at a faster pace this year, including digitalization, intelligence, and mobility. etc., these not only depend on the progress of medical Electronic technology, but also promote the development of medical electronic technology.

Data from some market research houses shows that medical electronics and technological advancements are interacting to bring diversified growth expectations for the industry. For example, multiple reports from IDTechEx show that the global market revenue of electronic skin patches in wearable medical devices will exceed 10 billion US dollars in 2021, and this number is expected to exceed 30 billion US dollars by 2031; medical piezoelectric transmission The sensory systems market is expected to reach $1.04 billion by 2029. And in drug research investment, the application of AI that uses machine learning and deep learning algorithms to improve the drug discovery process has raised more than 80% of the funds in the past 3 years. In 2020, the peak of the new crown epidemic, the related investment exceeded more than 80%. The sum of 2018 and 2019. In addition, the global market size of medical diagnostic technology based on AI images will exceed US$3 billion by 2030, and the market size of medical flexible electronic products will exceed US$8.3 billion in the same period.

In this issue of “Home Health and Medical Electronics”, we will work with experts from Melexis, ADI, ams, Osram, ON semiconductor, and Texas Instruments (TI) to sort out and analyze the hotspots and trends in this market. Trends, and understand the driving force of application demand on technology through the relevant products most representative of these companies.

Market Hotspots and Trends

The rapid growth of the home health care market, the new crown epidemic is a driving force. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting and irreversible impact on the way people think about health care, and Joris Roels, Melexis temperature sensor marketing manager, believes that many weaknesses in traditional systems have been exposed. People will care about air quality more than ever. Preventive and prospective health care will favor reactive treatment. Early diagnosis (infections and other medical problems) is key. Continuous health monitoring via wearables is likely to be a game changer and enable early diagnosis at home.

The new crown epidemic has exposed the fragility of the medical and health system. Zhao Yanhui, director of ADI’s medical, consumer and emerging business, believes that how to make ordinary people affordable and easy to obtain medical resources and maintain a healthy life will become the new focus and demand of the global medical and health industry. . Information technology can help healthcare systems shift their focus from treatment to prevention, and from in-hospital to home, making it possible to monitor and transmit clinical-grade data at any time, allowing physicians to have access to this data wherever they are, without requiring the patient to be hospitalized.

At the same time, with the development of my country’s aging society, the demand for remote monitoring (RPM) services developed from in-hospital clinical equipment has become more and more demanding with the development of home health management for aging populations and chronically ill populations. The stronger it is, it begins to expand outside the hospital. The out-of-hospital monitoring market is an emerging market. With the advancement of technology, home health medical products are also developing from invasive, sensory, single-point measurement to non-invasive, non-inductive and continuous measurement.

Relevant research data has reflected the huge potential of the home health care market – the growth rate of China’s home medical equipment exceeds the overall medical equipment, and the proportion is increasing year by year. The market size has grown from 48 billion yuan in 2015 to 118.9 billion yuan in 2019. , with a compound annual growth rate of 18.6%. It is predicted that by 2021, the market size of China’s household medical devices will reach 156 billion yuan. Li Minghao, field application engineer at ams Osram, believes that the current hotspots in the home medical market are mainly concentrated in the following aspects:

Intelligent: Home medical device products will gradually have data transmission, data storage and data analysis functions, and upload monitoring data to the health cloud platform.

Multifunctional: endow a home medical device with multiple functions, such as a device that can measure heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen and other functions. In addition, the multi-function of the product can also save the user’s purchase cost.

Wearable: Wearable mainly refers to long-term dynamic health data monitoring to provide more comprehensive health data information and improve the level of diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, in the long-term data monitoring, an early warning can be issued once abnormal data information is found.

Telemedicine: Telemedicine is based on intelligent household medical equipment products. After personal health data is transmitted to the health cloud platform, the health cloud platform will transmit the data to the corresponding hospital or doctor, and the doctor will issue a preliminary diagnosis or Direct online communication to answer patients’ urgent consultations, so as to achieve the purpose of telemedicine.

Tian Shishuai, an application engineer of ON Semiconductor’s medical division, believes that with the trend of aging, the post-epidemic era, and the upgrading of consumer concepts, the growth of home health and nursing product consumption is promoting the rapid development of the home medical device industry. Especially in recent years, due to technological breakthroughs, many products have been greatly improved in terms of portability, intelligence and refinement, such as electronic thermometers, electronic sphygmomanometers, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids/hearing aids, bone conduction hearing aids, Markets such as home continuous glucose meters have seen significant growth.

In addition to the growth in market size, one development trend in home health care is diversification. Ajinder Singh, general manager of TI’s medical department, believes that the development of special health monitoring equipment for different groups, physical therapy rehabilitation equipment, etc. are gradually popularizing and flourishing, such as the application of home ventilators and oxygen generators in sleep apnea treatment. And through medical-grade home equipment, home monitors, high-precision oximeters, wearable devices for continuous ECG monitoring, and non-invasive continuous monitoring of blood glucose with wireless connections, and various traditional home medical equipment with wireless functions, you can Build a personal health data center together.

Key Technologies and Upgrades

Post-pandemic markets are driving demand, while key technological advancements including digital, analog and sensing are also advancing home health medical devices. Joris Roels, for example, implements a home healthcare system that requires wearable devices that can measure vital signs, the common sensing systems of which are PPG (photoplethysmography) and temperature. Miniaturization and low power consumption are key.

“Especially for infrared temperature sensor chips, miniaturization requires more sophisticated strategies. The smaller the sensor, the more likely it will become unstable in a thermally dynamic environment,” Roels said. “Every small dimension of such a sensor requires careful thermal Engineering, with special attention to detrimental thermal gradients. Self-heating needs to be limited by careful CMOS design to avoid unnecessary power dissipation.”

Realizing home medical care is equivalent to realizing out-of-hospital monitoring. Zhao Yanhui emphasized that this requires “copying” the accuracy of in-hospital monitoring to outside the hospital. This makes the original out-of-hospital consumer electronics smart wearable products begin to have more monitoring functions for health signs (such as blood oxygen monitoring, ECG heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, etc.), and medical treatment with or close to clinical accuracy. Health monitoring function.

“10 years ago, vital signs monitoring (VSM) was mainly used in hospitals and professional rescue equipment such as ambulances and helicopters. The largest market was bedside monitors and monitors in intensive care units. These high-end systems support multi-lead ECG measurements. , oxygen saturation, body temperature and carbon dioxide, and several other parameter measurements.” Zhao Yanhui said, “Now, VSM is gradually being integrated into our daily life, and the wearable VSM system enables doctors to monitor patients remotely.”

Zhao Yanhui believes that the upgrade and evolution of the home health care system is inseparable from the help of artificial intelligence and big data in software, as well as the improvement of the accuracy of various sensors and analog front ends in hardware. Take the forthcoming continuous blood pressure monitoring as an example, its accuracy standard is invasive monitoring in the hospital. However, by comparing the invasive continuous blood pressure monitoring and photoplethysmography (PPG) in the hospital, it is found that the waveforms of the two are extremely similar. Based on this, with the help of artificial intelligence algorithms and big data, the relationship between the two can be organically linked, and non-invasive photoplethysmography can be used to reverse the individual’s continuous blood pressure changes. However, only the advancement of software is not enough. If the accuracy of hardware PPG is not enough, it is impossible to capture complete waveform information for algorithm comparison. For example, the descending isthmus information in continuous blood pressure monitoring, and the signal amplitude for different skin color and hair conditions. Therefore, ADI will fully consider these factors when designing the corresponding chip.

Tian Shishuai believes that portability, intelligence and humanization are the key technologies to promote the upgrading of home medical care. Taking the continuous blood glucose meter CGM as an example, when people with diabetes or patients do blood sugar testing, they no longer need to puncture their fingers to collect blood samples, but can directly wear a portable continuous blood glucose meter on the abdomen and arms to achieve Monitor blood sugar levels 24 hours a day. For another example, with the gradual increase in the number of people who pay attention to hearing health, many traditional hearing aid fitting methods require patients to go to the fitting store in person for fitting. The process is cumbersome and cannot meet people’s daily needs. More people hope to be able to do hearing tests and fitting hearing aids at home.

High precision and portability have become the development direction of home health medical equipment. Li Minghao believes that the diagnosis and treatment function can be guaranteed through medical-level certification, and the improvement of accuracy depends on the high-precision design of medical-related sensors and semiconductor components, such as the number of bits of the built-in ADC, and the overall design of the signal conditioning circuit. In reducing the size of the device and improving portability, there are two main considerations: the first is the replacement of new technologies. For example, ultrasonic equipment, traditional transducer transducers need to realize the portability of ultrasonic equipment, and the sacrificed accuracy allows medical certification. Currently, the industry is studying PMUT (piezoelectric MEMS ultrasonic transducer) or CMUT (capacitive MEMS ultrasonic transducer) device) technical and commercial feasibility. The second is the device integration of the prior art. For example, the photodiode PD, signal conditioning, and digital-to-analog conversion are integrated into analog front-end devices, which can improve performance while reducing costs and achieving a smaller device size.

Typical products driven by critical applications

Through the discussion of market hotspots, trends, and related key technologies and upgrade directions, we can see that high precision, miniaturization, intelligence and portability are the application directions of digital-analog and sensing technologies driven by home health medical equipment. Now let’s sort out the typical products of the 5 companies participating in this topic, and see how these products meet these application characteristics.

MLX90362 from Melexis

This is the smallest medical infrared temperature sensor in the industry. Non-contact thermometers overcome the typical problem encountered with contact thermometers—that is, their poor accuracy when thermal contact with the object being measured cannot be guaranteed. The MLX90362 features a combination of high precision, small size (3x3x1 mm) and thermal stability (a typical weakness of non-contact solutions). Details of this particle can be found in “Intelligent Solutions to Eliminate Thermal Disturbances in Non-Contact Temperature Measurements”.

ADI’s Wearable Health Monitoring Solution

Combining embedded sensors, processing power and wireless communication capabilities, the solution breaks the boundaries between in-hospital clinical medical devices and out-of-hospital wearable devices, accelerating the advancement of wearable medical and telemedicine technologies.

VSM signal conditioning technology is the key technology for digital healthcare in the next generation of home health wearable devices. ADI has decades of professional experience in this field. Combined with ADI, it has a variety of high Accurate, high-performance, high-reliability sensors, as well as the experience of signal processing front-end and integrated modules, enable them to realize the integration of embedded sensors, processing capabilities and wireless communication capabilities in the vital signal monitoring smart medical equipment and wearable device solutions. integration. In addition, ADI’s outstanding technologies and products in power management, signal processing and data communication also provide a complete system-level solution for the lower power consumption, smaller size, and remote interconnection required by current and future digital intelligent medical equipment. .

The ADPD4100/ADPD4101 is a multimodal sensor AFE from ADI for VSM applications and is an ideal hub for a variety of electrical and optical sensors in wearable health and fitness devices for heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring, blood pressure estimation, Stress and sleep tracking and SpO2 measurement. The multiple operating modes of this new multiparameter VSM AFE can accommodate different sensor measurements in healthcare applications, including but not limited to photoplethysmography (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), electrodermal activity (EDA), body composition , respiration, temperature and ambient light measurements.

The AD8233 is ADI’s low-power, single-lead, ECG ECG analog front-end (AFE) designed to meet the ECG signal conditioning requirements of emerging fitness equipment, portable/worn monitoring devices, and remote health monitoring devices. Unlike the topology used in many current integrated solutions, the analog filtering configuration of the AD8233 uses a bipolar high-pass filter, combined with the in-amp architecture inside the chip and the operational (gain) amplifier without the use of constraints, allowing users to adopt multi-pole low-pass filtering. technology to eliminate line noise and other disturbances, and can provide lead-off monitoring in shutdown mode. It offers system designers flexibility to take fitness and medical monitoring to a new level of value and performance.

The AD5940 analog front-end dedicated to high-precision impedance measurement and the high-precision, low-power on-chip meter ADucM355 can be used for body impedance analysis BIA, electrical skin activity EDA/GSR, etc. It is easy to use and complete in one step.

In terms of body temperature monitoring, ADI’s ADT7422 digital temperature sensor achieves an accuracy of 0.1°C within the body temperature range, with a very small 4x4mm package and direct digital temperature output. The ADT5912 analog temperature sensor can achieve 0.1°C accuracy from -20°C to 90°C. These temperature sensors can well meet the design of wearable products in terms of small size, high precision, and low power consumption.

In the field of motion detection, ADI’s ultra-low power 3-axis digital MEMS product ADXL362 consumes only 300nA in motion detection wake-up mode, and its ultra-low power consumption meets the application of wearable motion monitoring equipment. Low-power products are also coming soon.

ON Semiconductor’s Personal Health Care Solutions

For continuous monitoring of blood glucose values ​​24 hours a day, ON Semiconductor has developed an analog front-end AFE and a supporting ultra-low power Bluetooth RSL10, which can provide one-stop support for continuous blood glucose meter solutions. According to the different combinations of sensors, ADC, and BLE, ON Semiconductor’s continuous blood glucose meter solutions provide discrete CGM solutions, semi-custom CGM solutions, and fully customized CGM solutions.

For home hearing testing and hearing aid fitting, ON Semiconductor has launched the Ezairo series of hearing aid platforms, which can be a one-stop OTC solution. Whether it is to achieve hearing detection, hearing aid fitting on the mobile phone APP, or remote fitting and control on the computer GUI, ON Semiconductor provides a variety of high and low-end solutions, such as high-end E7160, mid- and low-end B300, RSL10, ON Semiconductor provides corresponding turnkey solutions.

Sensors and detection solutions from ams and Osram

ams Osram’s biosensor portfolio features the first integrated optical sensor modules, including heart rate measurement, photoplethysmography (PPG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) algorithms. The module is suitable for numerous end products including wearables, medical devices, industrial equipment and mobile devices. Biosensors from ams Osram achieve the highest accuracy in the industry through a low-noise analog optical front end and custom software and algorithms from ams Osram. With our expertise in optical sensing technology for mobile devices, we provide OEMs with electronic, mechanical and optical design guidelines to help customers quickly realize successful applications.

In the field of optical sensors, the company’s ultra-thin blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) measurement dedicated sensor AS7038RB can be integrated into wearable consumer products such as earbuds, smart watches and wristbands, as well as medical devices such as patches and oximeters , provides blood oxygen remote monitoring function.

In response to the current monitoring status of the global COVID-19 epidemic, ams Osram has launched a digital lateral chromatographic detection (LFT) solution, covering antigen detection and antibody detection. Provides rapid and reliable test results over a wide range of COVID-19 infections. The solution integrates the ams high-precision multi-channel spectral sensor AS7341L, optical structures and LEDs to achieve the highest precision. The AS7341L has 8 spectral channels in the visible range, which can realize high-precision mixed multi-color simultaneous measurement, and the full optical domain channel supports the self-detection function after initialization. At present, ams Osram has worked with several partners to develop a variety of COVID-19 detection solutions based on this, with high sensitivity, specificity, cloud connection and quantitative results, etc. Size and cost enable benchtop lab-level accuracy.

TI’s monitoring system solution

Low power consumption, miniaturization (new small packaging technology), wireless sensing (such as Bluetooth low energy BLE), Wi-Fi, sub-1 GHz and other different technologies) are the main technologies of TI in the home health medical system solution . Small, low-power analog front-end (AFE) included in portable wearable devices, high-precision ECG oximetry systems, and millimeter-wave radar sensors that can detect human state, activity, and motion characteristics (such as whether someone has fallen) , Combined with C2000 series microcontrollers, it can precisely control the easy-to-use high-precision motor control of the ventilator’s soft breathing, and the power management chip with high efficiency, low quiescent current, and small size can ensure long battery life.

Epilogue

$2 trillion, which is the revenue of the global healthcare industry in 2020. In the past ten years, China’s medical device industry has shown a trend of rapid growth in general. In 2018, the size of China’s medical device market was about 530.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.86%. By 2019, the market size had increased to nearly 625.9 billion yuan. With the acceleration of the localization of medical electronic equipment, the application of emerging technologies such as smart medical care and mobile medical care, and the national strategy of “Healthy China”, the country has been paying more and more attention to the medical service system of the whole society. It is expected that in the future In the next few years, China’s medical electronics market will continue to grow steadily. It is foreseeable that, as one of the fastest growing fields, family health care will usher in a new round of opportunities in the innovative development cycle.

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