Objectives

In this project, we propose a novel Design-and-Evaluation closed-loop Methodology for biotelemetry- telemedicine-integrated systems of antenna-enabled IIMDs (DEMIIMD). The DEMIIMD consists of five design- and one overall-evaluation- steps, shown in Fig. 1. The project comprises six workpackages (WPs):
[WP1]-[WP5] address IIMD-related research issues raised within the first five steps of the DEMIIMD,
respectively. Research emphasis will be on IIMD-antenna design [WP2], biotelemetry link modeling and performance [WP3], and safety [WP4]. New algorithms will be developed and extensive numerical and (in-vitro/in-vivo) experimental studies will be performed. Electronics [WP1] and biotelemetry- telemedicine-integration [WP5] issues will also be addressed. The goal is to provide valuable knowledge on how to apply the DEMIIMD for application-specific and requirements-dependent design. Interconnections between the WPs are shown in Fig. 2.
[WP6] validates the DEMIIMD within the framework of a novel totally-implantable system for wireless ICP monitoring, as an alternative to the traditional wired approaches.


Fig. 1: Block diagram of the proposed DEMIIMD.

The steps of the DEMIIMD are briefly outlined below. Application-specific requirements need to be taken into account at all design and evaluation stages in order to render the design suitable for the application at hand.
STEP 1: Make decisions on powering issues (powering mechanism and potential power conservation techniques), and further design the electronic (data and powering) circuits of the IIMD through an iterative design-and-evaluation process. Evaluation is performed in terms of electronics power consumption, complexity, size and cost. ([WP1])
STEP 2: Design the IIMD-antenna through an iterative design-and-evaluation process with emphasis on miniaturization, by employing techniques such as ground pins, high dielectric materials, patch-stacking. Evaluation is performed in terms of antenna resonance (operation frequency and bandwidth) and radiation (far-field radiation pattern, gain, radiation efficiency, transmission coefficient) performance. ([WP2])
STEP 3: Add an exterior MD to form the two-way biotelemetry link, and evaluate it in terms of communication performance (transmission coefficient, power received, communication range, required receiver sensitivity, protocols and standards, data and bit error rates, interference issues). ([WP3])
STEP 4: Determine the EM exposure scenario including all surrounding sources of EM radiation (both single- and multi-source exposure scenarios considered) and address patient safety issues related to SAR compliance with international safety standards and temperature rise. ([WP4])
STEP 5: Design the (mHealth/eHealth) telemedicine link through an iterative design-and-evaluation process. Evaluation is performed in terms of communication performance (protocols and standards, data and bit error rates, interference issues). ([WP5])
STEP 6: Evaluate the overall system performance (in terms of all the aforementioned criteria), get feedback regarding the design of all individual components, and perform re-design improvements where required.