Like other industries, the medical equipment and robotics industry incorporates ever increasing digital content, with technologies such as high-resolution imaging, vision and image signal processing, augmented reality, and high-definition digital displays.
Equipment manufacturers need reliable, cost-effective, and easy-to-use tools for verifying and testing the various high-speed digital (SerDes) interfaces on their systems, whether these be the high-resolution ADC SerDes outputs, the image sensor interfaces, or the display driver cables. Introspect Technology’s unique tools lend themselves extremely well to design validation and production testing of sub-assemblies and entire systems in the medical equipment field. Our tools are developed in lockstep with the semiconductor device manufacturers who supply parts to the medical industry, thus inserting confidence and certainty into test station design and programming.
To test our serial communications cables in our latest imaging equipment, we surveyed the electronics measurement market and found that Introspect Technology was the only vendor that gave us a complete integrated stimulus/capture solution and a highly intuitive user interface.
Imaging and Visualization
Medical practitioners demand ever higher image quality from diagnostic and imaging equipment. This translates into the need for creating and engineering high-resolution systems consisting of low noise analog receivers, high resolution analog-to-digital converters, and high-speed digital transmission interfaces. The higher the image quality is, the more stringent are the requirements for signal to noise ratio on the analog receivers and the larger is the required transmission bandwidth from the high-speed digital interfaces. Additionally, imaging systems often incorporate a large number of channels, and this means that the task of designing and validating them can become quite challenging.
Introspect Technology’s C Series test and measurement tools are ideal for engineers developing medical imaging systems. Not only have they been designed in lock-step with the semiconductor suppliers to the medical industry, but they also contain sophisticated measurement features that are easy to use and that allow for the parallel/simultaneous test of a large number of high-speed channels.
Surgical Robotics and Vision Systems
Vision enabled surgical robots are constructed using small image sensors interfaced to very thin optical fibers and then connected to advanced processing boards for 3D visualization and even augmented reality headsets. Increasingly, the anatomy of a surgical system looks strikingly similar to that of a smart phone or a tablet, so the same test and verification challenges exist as they do in the consumer electronics market. What is different is that the stakes are much higher given the importance of quality in the healthcare sector.
Optical Fiber Tip Mounted Cameras
Endoscopy applications require very thin cables, and this is where optical fibers are sometimes useful. Such fibers are light weight, flexible, and are capable of transmitting data with a very high bandwidth. What is interesting is that there is a strong trend to also miniaturize cameras for endoscopy while still achieving high resolution and high dynamic range. These requirements have been met by image sensors used in mobile applications, and this is why medical equipment rely more and more on mobile standards such as MIPI. The success of the mobile industry has enabled the proliferation of advanced image sensors in applications such as endoscopy.
Widely adopted in the industry, the Introspect Technology suite of MIPI tools and solutions is gaining a lot of traction in the medical imaging and endoscopy industries, and this is because they offer high performance, industry leading expertise in image sensor development and characterization, and unparalleled value for money.
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