ANT™ and Bluetooth Smart solutions for healthcare monitors and sensors
Ageing populations and modern lifestyle challenges (such as the trend towards increasing levels of obesity and the challenge of managing related illnesses such as type-2 diabetes) are placing record levels of financial stress on public and private healthcare providers across the globe. But now, ultra-low power (ULP) wireless enables healthcare providers to employ their limited resources more effectively, while improving care quality and treatment outcomes.
Typical products in this segment are
- Diabetes control
- Activity monitors
- Blood pressure
- Vital signs
Quick start tools
Nordic offers the following tools to assist developers in the healthcare segment:
Nordic Semiconductor provides a range of demo Apps for smartphones. There is currently a differing level of native support for Bluetooth® Smart (previously called Bluetooth low energy) and ANT+ on different mobile platforms. The nRFready demo apps work with a wide range of the most popular ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart accessories such as wireless heart rate straps, foot pods, bike speed-distance, cadence, power sensors, temperature, proximity tags, weight scales, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose monitors. These apps complement Nordic's series of ANT and Bluetooth Smart solutions to offer a complete end-to-end product development solution, compatible with Bluetooth v4.0.
Please go to the nRF product pages that are linked from the device selector table further down to read about development tools and software support for each relevant nRF product.
nRFready Demo Apps for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets
Nordic competitive edge
Nordic Semiconductor's ultra-low power (ULP) wireless solutions support the latest demands of healthcare peripherals, specifically those that require smartphone connectivity by offering:
- Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU)
- Ultra-low power consumption – Years of battery life running from a single coin cell
- Multiprotocol SoCs - Single chip solutions capable of running more than one protocol on-chip including Bluetooth low energy and ANT
- Pin compatible SoCs - Pin compatible SoCs across Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and 2.4 GHz enables you to make one PCB design for a range of products
- Protocol/Application independence - The nRF51 series unique software architecture enables you to develop, compile, and test your application separately from the embedded protocol stack.
- Multi-vendor interoperability – Seamless connectivity to existing ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart systems
- Mobile phone connectivity – Seamless connectivity to mobile phones with built-in ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart.
- Small size– The combination of compact packaging options and support for tiny coin cell batteries supports the smallest wireless designs from watches down to key tags/fobs
The nRF51 Series are flash-based SoCs, as such they represent the most flexible solution available. A key feature of the nRF51 Series and their associated software architecture and S-Series SoftDevices is the possibility for Over-The-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA-DFU). See fig. 1. This allows firmware updates to be issued and downloaded to products in the field via the cloud. This enables OEMs to fix bugs and introduce new features to products that are already out in the marketplace. This brings added security and flexibility to product development when using the nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic Semiconductor is offering the following technologies for the healthcare market
ANT+ is a very popular standard for ultra-low power wireless connectivity in sports and fitness equipment. It is supported by a wide range of ANT+ profiles enabling multi-vendor interoperability. There are a number of smartphones with built-in ANT+ support and a wide variety of dedicated hub devices to connect ANT+ sensors with. ANT+ supports a wide range of profiles in addition to sports and fitness, offering over 20 profiles for a wide range of applications.
More information about ANT+, visit www.thisisant.com
Bluetooth Smart RF ICs
Bluetooth Smart is an exciting technology that is becoming a standard feature in PC's and mobile devices. Bluetooth Smart Ready devices form the hub of our personal area networks, these include smartphones and tablets as well as dedicated hub products. Bluetooth Smart devices are the peripheral sensors that typically capture data and relay data to and from the hubs. Bluetooth Smart profiles are already available for a range of different applications
For more information about Bluetooth Smart visit www.bluetooth.org
Nordic IC offering
The nRF51 Series is Nordic's latest generation of ULP wireless System on Chip IC's that again sets the benchmark in this field. The nRF51 Series is based on the 32 bit ARM Cortex-M0 CPU and Nordics leading multiprotocol radio and supports Bluetooth Smart, ANT, and 2.4GHz proprietary solutions. Across the range pin-compatibility allows for drop-in replacement of device types where application requirements differ with no requirement for redesign of circuit layout. The innovative software architecture ensures an absolute separation between application code and protocol stacks, and enables you to maintain one code base for products using the different wireless technologies.
Device Selector Table for Healthcare
|Device||Bluetooth Smart||ANT||2.4GHz||Multi-protocol capable||Series pin- compatible||nRF24L series compatible||nRF24AP series compatible|