ECG device "ECG Trigger Unit" operates on the basis of the Game Boy Advance



Medical devices are considered (and in most cases the way it is) very reliable. The life and health of many people depend on such devices, and in the direct sense, these are not just beautiful words. Such systems can be attributed to those devices that are responsible for monitoring and recording the electric fields generated during the operation of the heart - electrocardiographs.

They are produced by many companies, and the design of electrocardiographs can be very different. The other day, one of Twitter users showed that it is a device from the German company Medical Imaging Electronics, which is called ECG-Trigger-Unit. The user, for some reason, began to disassemble the device, and inside he discovered ... Game Boy Advance .


The tweet, as we see, carries signs of the author's surprise. Probably each of us would be surprised at his place. Game console inside the clinical device? Seriously?

Yes, to an uninitiated person, all this may seem rather strange, but, in general, there is nothing out of the ordinary here. The fact is that portable consoles are complex electronic devices that can perform many functions, not only gaming. Therefore, they are sometimes embedded in more complex systems. Now Raspberry Pi of different versions and other mini-computers are used for this. But a few years ago there was nothing like that, so consoles played the role of mini-computers.

Examples? For example, the Game Boy was used to control automatic sewing and embroidery machines. An example can be viewed below, it turned out very well.


Another example is a Game Boy based sounder that can search for fish and other objects at depths of several tens of meters.

Doctors also appreciated the capabilities of portable game consoles. Back in 1997, a patent was registered for the use of Game Boy for ECG. It is clear that the prefix is ‚Äč‚Äčintegrated modularly, in parts, using the capabilities of the various elements of the device.

As a result, an ECG device with a Game Boy inside has received the following functional advantages:

- The almost complete lack of delays in data processing;
- Display of measurement results on the display in color;
- Portability.

As for the last point, this is a very real advantage, since the overwhelming number of ECG devices that are used in a clinical setting are large and not very convenient, few people like to carry them. However, now the situation is somewhat better than 10-15 years ago. Portable electrocardiographs now a lot.

Well, it is clear that the developers of the device are not pushed into the housing of the Game Boy secretly. No, the instrument documentation is open and uploaded to the Net long ago.

In this document, besides the characteristics of the ECG system, the characteristics of the Game Boy are also presented, and to demonstrate its graphic capabilities, the drafters of the document provided several screenshots of the games.

It is also indicated that the core element of the data processing is the ARM7TDMI chip. In addition to the console, it is used in a number of models of wireless routers from Dlink, in robots-vacuum cleaners from iRobot, on Apple iPods and in receivers from Sirius.

By the way, relatively recently, a craftsman from Germany used the Game Boy capabilities (only Classic already, not Advanced) to control the drone's flight. True, it used not only the console, but the Arduino, plus a small program that allowed the UAV to be controlled from the console, which appeared many years before the mass launch of the copters on the market.


Projects based on the Game Boy, there are a great many. Some of them are shown here . As a prefix, this device has long been morally obsolete (although there are still a lot of fans now). But as a portable device, it can be useful in our time.



Perhaps the most original example is photographing a recent solar eclipse on a Game Boy CCD-camera, released back in 1998 (photo above). But be that as it may, all these projects are single-piece, this is DIY. But the medical device went into a series, probably, it is used in some hospitals and now.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/406873/


All Articles