The Future of Medical Technology - Part 7: Ultra Wide Band Modules

Aug 31, 2017

What are Ultra Wide Band Modules (UWB)?

Ultra Wide Band (UWB) wireless communications provide a different approach to wireless technologies compared to conventional narrow band systems.  One of the most exciting applications is in medicine.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the frequency for UWB from 3.1GHz to 10.6GHz in America . However, in Europe , the frequencies include two parts: from 3.4 GHz to 4.8 GHz and 6 GHz to 8.5 GHz. The power radiation requirement of UWB is strict and as such does not affect existing medical equipment since UWB's spectrum looks like background noise.

UWB has emerged as a solution for the radio communication interface in medical wireless body area networks (WBANs). Additionally, UWB signals do not cause significant interference to other systems operating in the vicinity and do not represent a threat to patients’ safety. Impulse radio (IR) transceivers have simple structure and very low power consumption, which facilitates their miniaturization.

UWB products in Symmetry’s Lineup

DecaWave DWM1000 is an IEEE802.15.1-2011 UWB compliant wireless transceiver module based on DecaWave’s DW1000 IC. DWM1000 enables the location of objects in real time location systems (RTLS) to a precision of 10 cm indoors, high data rate communications, up to 6.8 Mb/s and has excellent communication ranges of up to 300m, due to coherent receiver techniques.

DecaWave Module DWM1000 is optimized for indoor precision location and data communications for Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) and Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). It operates across a wide variety of markets, including ePOS and retail, automotive, agriculture, building control and automation, factory automation, healthcare, safety and security, warehousing and logistics.

See the DWM1000 in action in the video below

Applications of UWB

A promising application of UWB as a wireless communication interface is in capsule endoscopy. A capsule endoscope is a camera with the size and shape of a pill that is swallowed to visualize the gastrointestinal tract. They originally were devised to transmit still images of the digestive tract for subsequent diagnosis and detection of gastrointestinal diseases, now real-time video imaging of the digestive tract is feasible using an UWB radio interface.

The IR-UWB radar can detect, noninvasively, tiny movements inside the human body. It’s possible to monitor cardiovascular physiological parameters using movement detection of the aorta or other parts of the arterial system. Such parameters include heart rate (HR), respiration motion and blood pressure (BP).

Medical imaging equipment using UWB has become more popular and is now commonplace is most modern healthcare facilities.  

Read other blogs in this series:

The Future of Medical Technology - Part 6: Optical Sensors

The Future of Medical Technology - Part 5: Wi-Fi

The Future of Medical Technology – Part 4: Bluetooth Low Energy

The Future of Medical Technology - Part 3: Biometric Sensors

The Future of Medical Technology - Part 2: Wireless Video & Audio

The Future of Medical Technology - Part 1


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