It is great to be able to highlight a valuable contribution to the 4.2 codebase and a cool application of the platform at the same time. The contribution is from Richard Scott at Pulsecor (http://www.pulsecor.com/). People have asked for examples of the kinds of products built using the Micro Framework and here is one of the devices in the medical segment.
Richard is responsible for the technical design of Pulsecor’s Cardiovascular medical products. “The statistics are that 1 in 3 people will die from Cardiovascular Disease! Pulsecor intends to change that by enabling non-invasive measurement of Central Blood Pressure (the pressure next to the heart, as opposed to the arm) and other parameters relating to the stiffness/hardness of the main arteries. These are now measured as easily as upper-arm blood pressure is measured today. Our BP products include a graphic LCD to display patient cardiac waveforms and measurement results. We selected the Microsoft .Net Micro Framework for our devices as it provides a familiar high level software development experience with all the advantages of using Visual Studio 2010 for both the device software and its related PC software. At the same time we can dig into the details of the native code and extend the capabilities as need for our specific solutions, including running our computationally expensive algorithms in native C/C++” says Richard.
He goes on to say that “Microsoft must be congratulated for making .NETMF open source as that is key to ensure its wider adoption and facilitates the community sharing development effort and making .NETMF better for everyone. We are happy at this time to share the drivers and interop assemblies to enable interaction with Maxim/Dallas OneWire devices. We look forward to contributing other enhancements to .NETMF that are of a general interest soon.”
Andrew Lowe is the CTO at Pulsecor. He says, “Pulsecor is very pleased to be able to contribute to the Micro Framework code in ways that can benefit the wider community. Pulsecor is involved in developing leading edge products to enable improved personal healthcare and appreciates the quality, flexibility and rapid development of the open source Micro Framework, enabled by all its contributors, including Microsoft. We look forward to seeing the ongoing improvement and success of the platform.” It’s great to have supporters like these. :-)
The Dallas 1-Wire® interface that Richard and Pulsecor are contributing to the platform provides power and serial communication over a single serial connection. Richard also contributed SD support for Version 2.0 cards, Transcendental function support to System.Math, added IsNaN to System.Double and a number of bug fixes.
The Pulsecor BPplus product is built using the Meridian board from Device Solutions.
The Pulsecor team has been building on NETMF since version 3.0 but they are about to launch their latest version with SD storage, USB interface, more precise A/D measurements, and some of their algorithms in native code. I have the early version of the product and that is plenty impressive. Although this version of the product is more likely to be purchased by your doctor than for you at home, it is still great to see NETMF used for these kinds to cool applications. I am told work has started on a consumer version of the product due out in 2012. The best of luck to Pulsecor in their endeavor to improve cardiovascular diagnosis and our thanks to them for their contributions to making NETMF version 4.2 better than ever.
1-Wire is a registered trademark of Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.