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Early Microprocessors in Professional Healthcare

  • April 26, 2021January 19, 2021

The unprecedented development in microprocessors has been a boon to many existing industries, but one of the most important and life-changing has been the healthcare industry. The applications of microprocessors in the healthcare industry are of paramount importance and widespread from something like behavioral medicine and computer-assisted therapy to portable wearable devices that monitor ongoing constant health conditions. Another example is how the metabolic rate is measured by indirect calorimetry using a microprocessor to compute the results and control the measuring instrumentation.


These examples show how the microprocessor has been exercised to expand machine capability and utilize feedback control. There is an inevitable lag between the discovery of new technology and its introduction into working channels, but microprocessors have moved on to become an important tool in electronic design and medical use.


The development of microprocessors has changed a significant number of new industries and produced an impact on various others. In order for development in this discipline to be efficiently implemented a deep investigation of present and expected research and use of microprocessors within the healthcare field are necessary. The results of this kind of study have been helpful in garnering future government research support and fruitful coordination among medical device manufacturers, healthcare professionals, and the computer industry. It has provided a platform for a technology assessment research of this area, which is a natural second step of theoretical research in the field.


Intel’s first microprocessor was the 4004.  Intel upgraded their 8080 design into the 16-bit Intel 8086, the first member of the x86 family, which is used in most modern PC type computers. Intel produced the 8086 next. The 8088 was the microprocessor in the first IBM PC. Microprocessors today can be categorized into 1) multi-chip, 2) single-chip, and 3) multi-chip micro-programmable. Types 1 and 2 are referred to as conventional types, while type 3 is referred to as the bit-slice type, as it comes packed in 4-bit slices. This type of architecture is highly flexible. Type 1 consists of I/O devices, memory, and CPU, while types 2 and 3 are designed for I/O devices and standard memory.


Prevalence of IoT-based devices in Medicine

The Internet of things (IoT) consists of network-connected devices, applications, and sensors that improve the capability of exchanging data between organizations. A distinctive feature of IoT is the help it provides in the health system by monitoring the patient in various ways like checking its vitals and comparing the data it is getting with the history of such inputs which results in a good health surveillance system. Many such devices are equipped with sensors in ICU nowadays. There would be some instances where doctors cannot be alerted in a timely manner by the staff, this is where IoT in the medical field comes in handy.


Raspberry Pi is nowadays used in the wearable devices provided in the kit to the doctors which work as a link between the hardware present in the hospital and the software present on their handheld devices and wrist wearables. They are able to interpret and inform the doctors about the blood pressure, heart rate, and other vitals of the patient. These data are also simultaneously sent to the databases for matching them with several patterns identified beforehand for various diseases as these modern microprocessor-controlled devices are generally able to connect to the Internet and transmit data.


The main advantages of these Iot-based systems is –


  • To fetch the medical data from the room of the patient via IoT


  • Processing the information accumulated and comparing it with previous models for classification of data.


  • To interpret the incoming data and predict any upcoming diseases or malfunctions in the patient’s body at a preliminary stage to give some headroom for doctors to prepare.


In contrast to many other medical advances, microprocessors also do not seem to include a very large capital investment or cost. Although apt training and education are required to handle their complicated functions efficiently. The real-time use of microprocessors is therefore extremely important in the medical industry. Development of the medical field hence in most cases takes place in tandem with the development of the computer field as one contributes to the other.