"Electronic Solutions for Advanced Healthcare"

The research interests of our laboratory involve the application of electrical engineering within medicine and are especially concerned with current problems/opportunities in the areas of "Personal Health Care" and "Automation and Control in Medicine".

The topic Personal Health Care encompasses wearable medical devices, particularly diagnostic devices, designed for use at home. Current technological developments are in the fields of "intelligent textiles" and "Body Area Networks" (BAN), certain related basic research areas (e.g. signal processing and motion artefact rejection), and sensor fusion. Due to demographic trends, especially in developed nations, the laboratory also focuses on the needs of the elderly (e.g. enabling greater autonomy at home).

Automation and Control in Medicine involves modeling and implementation of feed-back controlled therapy techniques. Research topics include tools and methods for modeling of disrupted physiological systems, sensor supported artificial respiration, active brain pressure regulation, and dialysis control and optimization. We also start to look into biomechatronic applications.

Where necessary and sensible, we also develop sensing techniques and specialized measurement electronics, for example, in the area of contact-free technologies, like magnetic bioimpedance or capacitive biopotential sensors, or in conventional bioimpedance spectroscopy.

The V-Model

The V-Model, which has its seeds in the software development, helps in the temporal and structural specification of different phases during the product development. Beginning with the system requirements further levels of detail are defined in subsequent phases. During the system design these phases are passed towards a higher level of detail, whereat the system integration begins at the highest level of detail at the end of the system design and ends with the finished product as a final result. Domain specific modelling and model-analyses act as a link between the system design and –integration. A balance between requirements and the realization is assured on all levels of detail to providing the requested properties.

The V-Model in research

Also in research the application of the V-model can lead to a structured procedure. During the development of new devices and processes system requirements are elaborated first, which are specified in first drafts. At the end of this process chain appropriate techniques (FEM simulations, simulation of electrical circuits and controlled systems) can be used to check the system requirements. Subsequently the theoretical considerations are converted into subcomponents during the system integration, which are assembled to the final prototype. Here, the functionality is aligned with the requirements on all levels of detail in order to detect deviations and take counter measures already in an early stage. This way, the V-model can also be used in research for a systematic problem solving.