Swiss company Medela has launched a hands-free smart breast pump that use Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to track pumping sessions. The ‘Freestyle Hands-free Breast Pump’ uses the wireless connectivity enabled by the Nordic SoC’s 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio to connect with the user’s smartphone. From the mobile, users can view their pumping session data, monitor the device’s battery life, and record and view their freezer supply of milk.
The ‘Freestyle Hands-free Breast Pump’ weighs only 76 g and can fit discretely inside the user’s bra. This entire system – including the pump – weighs less than 450 g, making it one of the lightest in-bra systems on the market today, according to the company. The device is comprised of the pump, two collection cups, four breast shields in two different sizes (21 mm and 24 mm), and two membranes.
The Medela Family™ app (available for iOS and Android smartphones) provides the interface for the pump tracking, battery life and freezer supply data. The app also offers a virtual assistant created by certified lactation experts that provides breastfeeding tips and insights.
Powered by a 18650 Li-ion battery, the ultra-low power consumption of the nRF52832 SoC helps to extend the Medela pump’s battery life, especially when in standby mode. The nRF52832 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system. Thanks to the SoC’s generous 256/512 KB Flash memory and 32/64 KB RAM, if the user is not able to connect to their smartphone while pumping, the data will still be recorded by the SoC and automatically transmitted once the connection is re-established.
“This whole system has been designed based on Medela’s extensive research to optimize breast milk output and comfort,” says Annette Brüls, CEO at Medela. “Nordic’s nRF52 Series is ideal for our product needs, allowing us to balance technical features, power consumption, size and price, while also giving us the flexibility to scale the technology to better meet the needs of our customers.”