Techniques for gestational diabetes that help reduce complications

Techniques for gestational diabetes that help reduce complications

Freescale's advanced technology in low-power and mixed-signal results in more flexible microcontrollers (MCUs) with many key peripherals for pregnancy monitoring applications, including gestational diabetes Guardianship. In all areas of importance for medical applications—low voltage, mixed-signal physical integration, display and connectivity—Freescale offers the powerful technology needed for next-generation medical system solutions.

Gestational diabetes

Pregnant women with non-diabetic conditions will still have higher blood glucose (glucose) levels during pregnancy. This is called gestational diabetes, which affects 1% to 3% of pregnant women. Basically, the production of hormones during pregnancy increases, leading to insulin resistance, which means that insulin does not effectively lower blood sugar levels, which forces the body to produce more insulin to compensate, leading to gestational diabetes.

In addition, although any woman may develop gestational diabetes, some people are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than others, including those:

● older than 25 years old;

● Have a history of family diabetes, or those with gestational diabetes in the previous pregnancy;

● Have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds or have experienced an unexplained stillbirth;

● Being overweight before pregnancy.

In addition, Spanish, Indian, Asian and black women are more likely to develop gestational diabetes than other women for unknown reasons. For women who already have diabetes, good glycemic control before and during pregnancy is not only important for women but also for the health of the fetus.

During pregnancy and pregnancy, if blood sugar levels are not well controlled, excessive blood sugar will raise the blood sugar level of the fetus through the placenta. This can make the fetus obese and form a huge neonatal disorder (the birth weight is more than 9 pounds and 15 ounces). Infant babies face many health problems, including prone to respiratory diseases, childhood obesity, development of type 2 diabetes in childhood, and even physical harm during pregnancy.

For these reasons, accurate blood glucose measurements before or during early pregnancy are critical for the rapid diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes (see Figure 1). In particular, most women do not show early diabetes-related early stages. Symptoms (excessive thirst and frequent urination).

The initial diagnosis included an oral glucose tolerance test. This is usually done in a clinic setting where the patient is asked to drink a glucose solution and then perform blood glucose monitoring at regular intervals (see Table 1). However, the most convenient observation of the symptoms of late diabetic disease is at home, which requires accurate home monitoring equipment.

Advanced semiconductor technology from Freescale, with low power consumption, mixed-signal physical integration, display and connectivity interfaces, makes it possible to design compact, easy-to-use devices. This device is ideal for home blood glucose monitoring. Freescale's highly integrated low power solution

By combining ultra-low-power platforms with high-precision analog peripherals, Freescale has made great strides in providing a total system solution for automated monitoring of the pregnancy monitoring market. Freescale's MCUs can reduce the cost of blood glucose meter design, which makes more mothers profit from blood sugar levels.

There are a number of key areas that are important for a wide range of portable medical applications:

Low power technology;

Mixed signal integration technology;

Display technology

Connection technology.

Freescale is helping users in the medical market optimize their products in these areas.

Ultra low power platform

Freescale MCUs leverage innovative technology to achieve the absolute lowest power consumption of these portable medical devices. The low voltage performance of the MCUs listed below makes them ideal for portable medical devices.

MC9S08Lxx: Low-cost entry-level MCU with LCD driver module and excellent power consumption;

MC9S08QExx: The best power consumption in its class, suitable for sensor device applications, with medium processing power and price advantage;

MCF51QE: Excellent performance and low power consumption, and pin compatibility with the 9S08QE controller, making it well suited to the complexity and functional cutting requirements of medical devices.

All of these devices have four main features that are the basis for low voltage operation.

Low power oscillator

The crystal oscillator is optimized for low power consumption and can drive the crystal in low gain or high gain mode. This peripheral module consumes less than 500 nA when driving a 32.768 kHz crystal in low power mode. When using this low-power oscillator, the MCU can guarantee accurate time in low-power mode (stop mode).

Operating mode

Low-power MCUs have many modes of operation, each designed for a specific function, which allows for the most efficient performance and power loss trade-offs. Diverse operating modes (run, low power operation, wait, low power wait, stop 2 and stop 3) make some devices consume as low as 250nA and also enable medical applications to operate continuously and efficiently . Enables many MCU peripherals to operate in a low-power mode of operation, providing the appropriate functionality in low-power modes. Flexible clock source

Due to the benefits of multiple modes of operation, the internal clock (ICS) provides the ability to increase or decrease the frequency of operation of the device for the periphery of a low-power solution. Higher operating frequencies result in higher power consumption in the operating mode. Operating at low frequencies reduces power by approximately 500 μA per MHz, depending on the needs of the application. ICS enables designers of embedded development to better tune the performance of MCUs to optimize power consumption.

Clock gating technology

To further reduce the power consumption of the operating mode, peripheral devices on each low-power platform have clock gating capabilities. Clock gating technology turns off the clock signal sent to the peripheral device. With clock gating, a single peripheral reduces power consumption by only a few tens of microamps. To achieve the lowest power consumption, it is necessary to turn off each unwanted internal clock signal. Clock gating can reduce power consumption by approximately 1/3 in the operating mode when all peripheral clocks are turned off.

Design of a glucose detector using Freescale's protocol

The features described above can be combined to optimize the design of a portable medical device in terms of low power consumption, such as a blood glucose meter (Figure 3, Figure 4).

The low-power oscillator can be used to provide very low standby power consumption and maintain accurate time, which allows the meter to be used to store accurate glucose level measurement history for future reference.

Using a flexible operating mode and internal clock (ICS), the blood glucose meter firmware can be designed to be such a situation: When complex calculations are required for a glucose measurement, the MCU performance can be improved to reduce processing time and make it easier for the user to use.

Finally, clock gating technology can save additional power. The use of these technologies can make a battery work longer. It enables developers to use a smaller battery, which enhances portability and makes it easier for users.

Mixed signal integration

The most important for a glucose meter design is the ability to perform small-signal analysis in electrochemical reactions in glucose measurements. An analysis step is to recognize the peak value of the biosensor electrical signal output. With analog comparator (ACMP) peripherals, Freescale's MCUs can generate an interrupt when a peak reaches.

The next step is to perform an analog-to-digital conversion of the linear attenuation output of the glucose test strip by an analog-to-digital converter that requires accurate timing. Many Freescale devices have a feature-rich 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that enables these measurements. ADCs have these features: such as automatic comparison and flexible switching time settings, which are ideal for this application.

Finally, an 8-bit or 32-bit CPU is used for mathematical analysis. The chemical reaction between the sample (blood) and the glucose test strip produces a linear decay signal that takes a few seconds to process. The CPU performs some filtering on the input signal using time-averaged or more complex IIR filtering. The average is acquired at some point along the linear attenuation of the input signal from which the slope of the linear attenuation can be calculated. It is this slope that will be directly related to the blood glucose level value.

The on-chip analog function of Freescale MCUs saves costs for many systems. One obvious benefit is that it reduces the need for external ICs. This reduces the space between the BOM and the board. At the same time, the on-chip analog function also features low voltage detection and internal bandgap reference voltage, which further reduces cost.

Display characteristics

With the release of the L-Series 8-bit MCUs with integrated LCD drivers, Freescale offers the ideal display capabilities for portable medical devices. The LCD driver on these devices has the following features, which can reduce costs and provide more functions for the meter.

First, Freescale has increased the ability to configure any MCU pin function as a segment or common. With this feature, the signal layout can be optimized to reduce PCB board space. This feature can also quickly adapt to changes in LCD screen design, as hardware changes can be resolved by software upgrades. An example of a flexible application of the LCD driver is documented in Freescale's application note (LCD Driver Description), which can be downloaded from the website (document number AN3796).

Second, with the X8 mode of the LCD signal, the new LCD driver can drive more segment codes with fewer pins. With this function, it can drive 160 LCD segment codes using only 28 pins (8 × 20). On many competing products, the same function requires 44 pins to implement. By using fewer pins, the PCB board size and connection space are reduced, which makes more pocket portable medical designs possible.

Finally, LCD drivers have excellent low power performance. Low power consumption is considered in every aspect of the design. The end result is that the system consumes as little as 1.5μA when the LCD is connected to the entire system. This performance, combined with the low-power flicker mode (the ability to show flicker when in stop mode) allows product developers to reduce their average power consumption by 70% for their portable medical designs. This will result in significant battery life extensions, and further cost savings in changing the type of battery required in the final device.

A visual display is necessary in the design of the blood glucose meter. It enables the patient to read the measurement results. With Freescale's S08L family of microcontrollers, LCD display capabilities and best-in-class low-power performance are available on a single chip. Freescale also offers software solutions that allow for simple LCD screen customization and fast LCD GUI development. In addition, designers can reduce their total development time by referring to the "LCD Driver Description" reference design.


The ability to transfer information from a blood glucose meter to a computer is an important option for designers of new blood glucose meters. Freescale's MCUs integrate many peripherals to provide such connections, such as SPI, SCI, and I2C, which enable system time data transfers. Using SPI, the MCU can be easily connected to a ZigBee transceiver to provide a flexible, low-power wireless connection.

in conclusion

Freescale's leading technology in low-power and mixed-signal integration has enabled the development of MCUs as a key component of blood glucose monitor applications, which can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes. While Freescale's devices currently offer many benefits, the company has been working to further improve low-power, mixed-signal integration, display and connectivity features to make it more conducive to the pregnancy monitoring market.

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