The xG27 SoC Is Small (In Size) but Mighty for Connected Health Applications

03/13/2023 | Brian Blum | 3 Min Read

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation in healthcare, as people wanted to prevent sickness and avoid congested hospitals by getting the care they needed at home. This rapid adoption of telehealth and remote healthcare services accelerated the demand for the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), prompting the need for more intelligent, accurate, and connected wearables and portable medical devices.

Healthcare workers and consumers alike are witnessing how healthcare is practiced and delivered more effectively using technology to handle the surge in demand for remote healthcare services. From predictive maintenance and calibration of equipment at smart healthcare facilities to clinical efficiency of healthcare resources to remote health management at home, and more, these devices are revolutionizing healthcare operations while allowing patients to live a normal life at home, increasing access and improving health outcomes.

To keep up with mass adoption of IoMT brought on by the pandemic, device makers were faced with the challenge of having to incorporate secure, energy-efficient wireless connectivity into an extremely small footprint. Think smaller than a tooth.

We learned, when it comes to connected health, size does matter. In addition to size;  battery life, power consumption, security, and energy efficiency all matter. 

Today, we’re excited to announce a new family of low-power SoCs that enables secure, energy-friendly multiprotocol wireless networking for IoT devices, the EFR32xG27, which includes the MG27, our multiprotocol SoCand the BG27, our Bluetooth LE SoC. The BG27 enables device makers to add high-performance and secure low-power Bluetooth LE on tiny form-factor devices, expanding the possibilities of smart connected medical devices and wearables.

Bluetooth LE SoC Ideal for Ultra-small Portable Medical Devices

Connected health devices are critical for remote care services, reducing healthcare costs, preventing the viral spread of diseases, and allowing more people to access care while at home. The BG27, in wafer-level chip scale packaging (WLCSP) with the dimensions of just 2.6 x 2.3 mm, is designed to help medical device makers put high-performance Bluetooth LE connectivity on even smaller and more challenging device form-factors – such as the smart tooth implant – increasing revenue opportunities through differentiation, new market categories, and higher buyer appeal. 

Most connected wearables and portable medical devices need to accurately track people's biometric data, allowing healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely, track progress and intervene when necessary. The lifetime of medical devices is crucial here, as it can vary from days to months to years of stocking and use. The BG27 features an integrated DCDC Boost that allows operation down to 0.8 volts, thus enabling the use of single-cell alkaline, silver oxide, and 1.55v button cell batteries typically used on medical applications such as battery-operated patches, wearable electrocardiograms (ECG), and continuous glucose monitors (CGM). In addition, the wakeup pin on the BG27 allows products to spend months in warehouses and transport, consuming less than 20 nA, until awoken, ensuring the battery remains fully charged when the device is needed the most. To prevent unexpected battery depletion during the use of critical health applications, the integrated Coulomb Counter on the BG27 enables accurate battery level tracking to enhance user safety and experience.

The BG27 provides device makers with a unique combination of features required to enable untethered, high-performance Bluetooth LE on extremely small devices, such as lifeline and life safety medical devices, with an extended battery capacity, as well as robust security to protect the device and user from rapidly evolving cyber-threats.

Bluetooth LE SoC Enables Operational Insight in Smart Hospitals and Clinics

The proportion of global healthcare facilities significantly increasing their healthcare IT budget has grown exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic, with larger healthcare establishments investing more in digital transformation initiatives, especially in smart hospitals and clinics, as found in Omdia's "The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) at the Heart of Digital Healthcare" analyst report. The BG27 allows for advanced patient flow, treatment, and monitoring – increasing both staff efficiency and patient safety.  The BG27’s small form factor and wireless connectivity allow for continuous patient monitoring via untethered and lightweight medical devices. Asset tags and real-time location (RTL) solutions provide the ability to track medical equipment, personnel, and patients who are always on the move. More time is spent caring for patients rather than looking for equipment. The BG27 brings operational insight across large-scale hospital settings for better healthcare and business insight for a better clinical efficiency.

The proliferation of IoT Medical Things (IoMT) is transforming the healthcare industry, driving digital transformation in clinical medical environments, as well as outside of the traditional clinical setting – at home and on the go. These devices are revolutionizing healthcare operations and enabling consumers to monitor at home, increasing access and improving health outcomes. 

Learn more about Silicon Labs Bluetooth SoCs and Connected Health

Brian Blum
Brian Blum
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Wireless
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