Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth Low Energy medical monitoring ‘careable’ and digital therapeutic platform delivers patient engagement and remote care management solution
Life365’s ‘LifeConnect’ wearable employs Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC to run health monitoring sensors and wirelessly transmit health data to patient’s customized tablet
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Life365, a Tempe, AZ-based digital health solutions provider, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) for its ‘LifeConnect Careable’. LifeConnect is a Bluetooth LE medical monitoring wearable (or ‘careable’ as it’s called by the developer) for people with chronic health conditions, supported by a remote care management system for clinicians.
The LifeConnect wearable incorporates a heart rate monitor, galvanic skin resistance sensor (to record hydration and stress data), an accelermoter/gyro, as well as a thermometer. It can also wirelessly connect to other medical monitoring devices—for example cardiac or brain monitors—for gathering biometric data and other key health indicators, as well as be tailored to meet the specific needs of an individual patient.
In addition to the LifeConnect device, a patient is also issued with a customized tablet pre-installed with the ‘myLife365’ companion software, allowing patients to self-monitor the collected data and access a range of applications including health surveys, education resources, medication and appointment reminders, and two-way video for communication between the patient and care team.
Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC provides LifeConnect with Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity, enabling the sensor and medical monitoring device data gathered by the product to be relayed to the patient’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) tablet. The SoC’s powerful Arm® M4F processor provides ample computational power to run complex sensor algorithms as well as provide low latency Bluetooth LE connectivity. In addition, the SoC’s on-chip NFC-A tag enables the device to record interactions between health care professionals and the patient in the home ensuring electronic visit verification (EVV) compliance. When visiting a patient the health care professional can pair their ID tag with the LifeConnect device via NFC, confirming the visit took place.
LifeConnect is also Wi-Fi-enabled, providing bi-directional connectivity between the device and Cloud, allowing the sensor data gathered by the wearable to be directly transferred to the ‘Life365 Digital Therapeutic Platform’, and accessed by both patients and clinicians via the Touchpoints365 online portal. The portal allows clinicians and care teams to remotely review patient health data, monitor patient activity and wellness, configure healthcare solutions used by patients at home, and offer timely interventions if a patient shows signs of clinical deterioration.
LifeConnect is powered by a rechargeable Li-Poly battery, providing up to several days of operation between recharge, depending on the type of application and level of user interaction, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52840 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the nRF51 Series.
Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps)) compared with Bluetooth 4.2. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications.
“We selected the nRF52840 SoC on the strength of the Bluetooth 5 functionality, and for the Arm processor, and RAM and Flash memory allocations, which provided good value considering the relatively low cost of the chip itself,” says Eric Vanderwater, Chief Technology Officer at Life365. “Nordic’s SoftDevice made firmware development much simpler, and the availability and quick response of Nordic’s firmware development support and technical support was incredibly valuable during development.”