Dan Bartnik, Chief Technology Officer & VP of Operations
Väsamed Inc.

“Our experience with Micrium has been great. Micrium source code is accessible and well documented. Micrium’s RTOS enabled us to easily transition code from our first product to our new SensiLase PAD-IQ platform, because the port of Micrium’s RTOS was already available for our chosen processor.”

Embedded Software for Medical Applications

Designing an electronic healthcare device means managing engineering tradeoffs. On the one hand, medical devices are often too complex to be implemented just with a simple programming loop. But on the other hand, they can rarely afford the heft of a full-blown desktop operating system such as Linux.

SensiLase PAD-IQ testing a patient for peripheral arterial disease

SensiLase PAD-IQ testing a patient for peripheral arterial disease

The SensiLase PAD-IQ is a perfect example. The PAD-IQ is a mobile medical device that tests patients for peripheral arterial disease. It examines capillaries under the skin using a laser Doppler signal.

The PAD-IQ then transmits its measurements to a central database, where the physician can examine the results using a web-based application.

The PAD-IQ runs Micrium’s µC/OS-II to support an application that controls a variety of functions: the laser temperature and current, inflation of blood pressure cuffs, error diagnostics, watchdog management, and test sequencing.

Because the PAD-IQ is a mobile device, it needs a real-time operating system that is capable and lightweight.

µC/OS RTOS — A Lightweight Solution

Micrium's µC/OS RTOS software stack

Micrium's µC/OS RTOS software stack

All of Micrium's software is designed to use resources efficiently. Micrium’s µC/OS kernels can be configured easily to use 6 kBytes (or less) of code space.

Many kinds of mobile medical devices are used by consumers in the home and must track vital information, regardless of where their users might be. Software with a small memory footprint is critical for high-volume products where additional memory chips can have disastrous cost consequences.

Your devices need software that is efficient, easy to use, and available under royalty-free licensing terms – all of which happen to be defining aspects of Micrium's software.

Power Efficiency

Micrium has long recognized that effective power management requires a holistic approach: the selection of the right MCU, development of application code that fully leverages that MCU's features, and the use of a power-efficient RTOS.

The power-management features of µC/OS can keep a device running for years without a battery change. These features include hook functions for initiating low-power modes, support for a dynamic tick rate, and even tick-less operation.

Dan Bartnik, Chief Technology Officer & VP of Operations

“I was initially introduced to Micrium by a co-worker over 10 years ago. We had not been using an RTOS previously, so we studied reviews, looked at features and read Jean Labrosse’s book. Based on our research, the decision to use an RTOS – and specifically Micrium’s – became fairly easy.”

A Wealth of Example Code and Documentation

The first phases of a project often prove to be the most difficult, so Micrium works to ensure that developers of medical devices have ample resources to get started quickly.

Micrium offers a number of example projects for medical device developers, and provides extensive documentation for these projects in a collection of books for the µC/OS-II and µC/OS-III kernels, as well as the µC/TCP-IP stack. Many of the example projects described in the books are fully-functioning prototypes for common home medical devices, such as blood glucose meters and heart-rate monitors.

Hospital and Laboratory Equipment

In contrast to devices used in home healthcare, devices used solely by medical professionals are often low-volume products that leverage the latest high-performance processors.

Safety certification (commonly, the IEC 62304 standard) is a typical requirement for hospital and lab equipment. Micrium has a history of helping developers meet these standards in both home and professional healthcare, and boasts a user base that includes many of the top names in patient care and diagnostics products.

Micrium’s ultra-reliable µC/OS-II kernel has served as the foundation for multiple products that have achieved FDA 510(k) clearance as Class II and Class III devices. µC/OS-II has also been used in products certified as Class C devices under the demanding IEC 62304 standard.

To ensure that developers of medical devices have all the resources needed to navigate the certification process, Micrium partners with two experts in the field of safety-critical software, Validated Software and Embedded Office. The range of services and products offered by these partners affords developers complete freedom to select a certification option that balances the time and budgetary constraints of their projects.

Reliable. Efficient. Trusted.

Micrium's µC/OS is ideal for medical systems that require safety certification. It is a full-featured RTOS with complete networking and file system services.

µC/OS features support for TCP/IP, USB, CAN bus, and Modbus, and includes a robust file system, and graphical user interface.


Learn more about µC/OS RTOS