Chad Graham, Electrical Engineering Manager
Compared to medical devices twenty years ago, today’s medical devices are smaller, smarter and far more complex. They rely on a delicate balance of mechanical, electrical and software functions that, when commercialized properly, provide a superior user experience to both the patient and the provider. To achieve this, it has become the norm for medical devices to contain some form of embedded computing system running custom code. For a small design team, this level of complexity can be a daunting task, but one that Cogmedix’s DFcx™ Engineering Services group is used to solving.
Embedded systems can range in complexity from a simple off-the-shelf embedded computing module, controlling a couple of motors, to an intricate, custom-designed supercomputer, coordinating peripherals and a large touch-screen enabled user interface. Depending on the needs of the customer and the product, the DFcx™ Engineering Services group has experience with all kinds of embedded systems and can recommend the best solution. Our experience includes:
- Miniature 8-bit Microcontrollers up to Multi-Core Server Class Processors
- 2in Segment Driven Displays up to 22in Touch-Screen LCD Panels
- Simple Interfaces such as Steady-State Input/Outputs (I/O) up to Gigabit Low Voltage Differential Signals (LVDS) Buses
- Analog I/O Ranging from 6-bit Resolution up to 24-bit
- Low Speed Serial Communication Ports up to Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) Wireless Interfaces
- Brushed DC Motors up to 3-Phase Brushless Motors
- Custom AC/DC Power Modules and High Powered Laser Power Sources
In addition to the physical hardware, embedded computing systems need software. At Cogmedix, we have worked with a wide variety of platforms, languages and coding styles to develop and support everything from simple microcontrollers to advanced user interfaces running on a custom OS port. We have also cultivated strong partnerships with industry experts, allowing us to support all types of software requirements including web hosted interfaces and remote device management options.
Cogmedix’s medical device development team has a fully-developed design control process that covers both hardware and software services. If a customer does not have a set of design controls already in place, or if they only have hardware design controls, the engineering team can provide not only the design resources but also the design controls for compliance.
Our expertise with compliance doesn’t stop with internal processes but also covers certification testing. We have worked with numerous Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories (NRTL) to test and certify medical devices destined for a wide variety of use cases. Our processes focus on testing early and testing often, allowing us to anticipate and correct any compliance issues before they affect the project schedule.
Accompanying our design services, customers will benefit from the Cogmedix Scaled Product Launch™ (SPL™) process, which supports a reduction in manufacturing waste and minimizing build-time. Engineering Services will assess the manufacturing process for a medical device and highlight areas for improvement focusing on build sequence, DFMA, programming, and test equipment development. As production demand increases, this is a great way to increase cell output without increasing the device’s cost of goods (COG).
In a world that considers hand-sized supercomputers common, it should come as no surprise that the medical OEM market is expected to keep pace by delivering innovative products capable of achieving great things in small packages. The Cogmedix DFcx™ Engineering Services group is committed to supporting our customers in any way we can, at any stage in a device’s lifecycle. Our experienced, flexible engineers enable us to become an extension of any OEM design team for any project, resulting in a high probability of time to market success.