September 17th
In Association with ASU’s School

Many factors have contributed to global momentum in the medical electronics industry, with the convergence of electronics technology and biological health sciences playing a major role. Growth in medical electronic applications (yes, there is an App for that!) will parallel Cell Phone and Tablet PC markets, with increases in computing power as well as optical resolution and touch sensor technologies. Current focus for mobile, implantable and large medical systems is on improved personal health, with preventative applications and advanced early diagnostics. Various integrated circuit (IC) technologies, now complemented by MEMS bio-sensor technologies, allowed for significant development in areas such as prosthetics, combining “artificial limbs” with “artificial intelligence”, sensing and reacting to very small electrical impulses from the brain, through direct body contact. 

This conference will address the many industry challenges and opportunities including safety, reliability, miniaturization, manufacturing and materials as well as government regulations and political healthcare initiatives. The human body is a convergence of various biological phenomena and sophisticated electrical networks controlled by the brain, with the health sciences and medical electronics technologies converging to meet strong global demand.

September 18th

MEMS Technology and the Healthcare Industry --
The Convergence of Timelines and the Perfect Storm
Sam Bierstock, MD, BSEE, Physician (Internal Medicine and Ophthalmic Surgery), Electrical Engineer, Medical Informaticist, founder of Champions in Healthcare

Many factors have contributed to advancements in the medical industry, but perhaps none of greater potential importance than MEMS technology. In recent years the MEMS industry has discovered healthcare, and the healthcare industry has begun to discover MEMS. However while MEMS technology is poised to determine the future of the delivery of healthcare in the US (and quite possibly the world), paradoxically, the healthcare industry in general has not completely grasped the concept of, if not the very existence of, the MEMS industry and what it has to offer.

U.S. Healthcare is preoccupied with the survival issues of the day – healthcare reform, positioning to provide access to 40 million more people, endless complex regulation, skyrocketing costs, diminishing reimbursements, escalating security requirements, and more. Knowing how, who, and where to engage in order to position innovative MEMS technology requires an intimate understanding of both the uniquely mired processes of the healthcare industry and the mindset of the clinical end-users.

The timing for MEMS technology in healthcare could not be more perfect. Physician adoption of electronic medical records, while sluggish for the last 15 years, has been given a massive push by governmental financial incentives to providers and hospitals. Massive amounts of data are being accumulated and bureaucracies formed to collect, collate and assess “Big Data”. The ultimate goal is to monitor trends for disease patterns, assessment of treatment processes, the establishment of treatment protocols and evaluation of the quality of care delivered.

Much of the data required will need to be collected passively and unobtrusively, 24 hours a day, and in the out-patient setting of day-to-day life. This presentation will explain why the timing for MEMS technology relative to health care could not be more ideal.

Sam Bierstock, MD, BSEE is a Physician (Internal Medicine and Ophthalmic Surgery), Electrical Engineer, and Medical Informaticist, and the founder and President of Champions in Healthcare. Dr. Bierstock is a nationally recognized authority on healthcare and healthcare information technology, author of 4 books, more than 100 published professional articles, and international lecturer. He is the Recipient of the George Washington Honor Medal, Freedoms Foundation for his work on behalf of our nation’s veterans. He has appeared on CNN, Fox TV, NPR, and every major national TV network and has been featured in People Magazine, USA Today, US News and World Report and National Public Radio among numerous other national TV, print and radio media venues, and has been a contributor to the Wall Street Journal on national healthcare related issues.

Click here for Dr. Bierstock's full bio.

Technical Chairman
David Ruben, Technical Fellow, Medtronic, Inc.  

General Chairman
Nicholas Leonardi, Director of Business Development
Premier Semiconductor Services

Jeffrey LaBelle, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Arizona State University

Ron Molnar, Executive Director
AZ Tech Direct, LLC

Guna Selvaduray, Ph.D.
Professor, Materials Engineering,
San Jose State University

There are only ten sponsorships available. Sponsoring this symposium event will provide a valuable opportunity to promote your company brand and product/service message to attendees, while supporting your business development and positioning goals.  Cost is $1,875.00. These sponsorships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

All Sponsorships with exhibit tables are SOLD OUT!

Other sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Bette Cooper at bcooper@meptec.org for more information.

Pre-Registration is strongly recommended. There will be no guarantee of space or materials for on-site registrants. There will be an additional $25.00 fee to register at door on the day of the event without a pre-paid or held reservation. Your registration fee for the technical conference includes proceedings, coffee breaks, and lunch. Guaranteed registration will be accepted by mail, fax, phone or e-mail. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Pre-registering and pre-paying will guarantee you admission, proceedings materials and lunch. Please note that you may pay at door for attendance, but you must hold your registration with a credit card.

Refunds for advance payment, less a $50 processing fee, will be given in full provided cancellation is received 7 business days prior to the event (by end of day Friday, September 16). If you chose to pay at the door but do not show and do not cancel by the date stated above, the credit card you provide to hold the reservation will be charged.

A block of rooms is being held at the Four Points by Sheraton Tempe until August 23 for attendees for $100.00. A personalized website has been set up on their site, click here to make your reservation: MEPTEC Conference 2013

You may also call 866-716-8133 or 800-368-7764. If you call make sure you mention MEPTEC.

Information exchanges

Creating Solutions for Health through Technology Innovation
Karthik Vasanth, Ph.D., General Manager for Medical and High Reliability, Texas Instruments

Medical electronics plays an important role in in healthcare by continually improving the quality of prevention, diagnosis and illness therapy. The success of medical electronics depends on the ability to measure and interpret a wide variety of signals linked to an underlying condition. Gaining understanding in the range of processes and design innovations being developed to meet these requirements is essential for the future of healthcare.

This talk will address the significant impact of medical technology in the health and fitness worlds, and how it continues to evolve. Future medical device trends could include direct measurements of biological signals and even self-powered devices. The role of connectivity and telemedicine will also be discussed. The presentation illustrations will cover the evolution of design and integration techniques that are driving innovation in medical electronics.

Karthik Vasanth received the Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Chennai) in 1991. He received his Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1995. He joined the Silicon Technology Development group at Texas Instruments in 1995 and worked on compact process and device simulation models. He was also involved in the development and validation of advanced Spice models including BSIM4. He was also elected as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments in 2005. In 2010 he was promoted as the General Manager of the Medical and High Reliability Business Unit at TI. He has published over 30 papers and authored/co-authored several patents.

As of 9/4/13 - Listed alphabetically by speaker’s last name

MEMS: Sensing a New World of Applications in Healthcare
and Wellness
Jay Esfandyari, MEMS Product Marketing Manager, STMicroelectronics

The acronym, MEMS, stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems, a technology based on silicon micromachining fabrication processes. MEMS technology is used to fabricate a variety of sensors. The key component of a MEMS sensor is a micron-sized mechanical sensing element integrated into a single package together with an advanced ASIC with embedded smart functionalities.

MEMS based sensors surpass other technologies in sensitivity, resolution, precision, size, cost, and low current consumption. The recent advances in MEMS technology and these advantages have enabled an unprecedented growth of MEMS sensor based applications in consumer electronics, mobile communications, healthcare, fitness and other industrial market segments.

For many applications - a pedometer, simple motion detection, and tracking, for example - a 3-axis accelerometer has been sufficient. However, for more advanced applications such as human body tracking, accurate and precise tracking and positioning of healthcare scanning equipment, concussion detection, and Man-down, a combination of MEMS sensors is required to provide higher performance and faster response time.

This presentation will discuss the MEMS sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, and pressure sensors, and the major technical sensor parameters that are required for healthcare and fitness applications. It will provide an overview of the most popular, rapidly growing, and emerging MEMS based applications in healthcare and wellness and describe the future trends of MEMS sensors in telehealth and wireless sensor networks for healthcare applications.

Download Two Apps & Call Me In the Morning: Mobile & Tablet-based Applications for Healthcare
Meziar Farzam, Co-Founder and President, Inhance Digital

According to a 2012 Manhattan Research study, 72% of all US-based physicians use mobile devices at work, with 60% using an iPhone, and 45% an iPad. Early 2013 numbers indicate a clear and growing trend among Healthcare Providers toward an increased use of mobile and tablet based solutions for a broad range of applications, including Patient Education, Electronic Medical Record management and Diagnosis.

Where is this trend heading, what are the available solutions, and what really makes an effective app? Join us for a compelling discussion of the latest mobile trends in Healthcare and a case study review of effective mobile engagement solutions.

Emerging 3D Printing Applications in Biomedical Engineering
David H. Frakes, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University

Over the past decade, mechatronic systems with additive manufacturing capabilities have changed the engineering design landscape in many biomedical fields. Better known as three-dimensional (3D) printing or rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing has now become a viable means of prototyping and/or production in diverse biomedical applications including bioelectronic fabrication, implant design, and anatomical modeling. One rapidly growing application of 3D printing is surgical planning; rather than plan cardiovascular operations simply by examining medical image data, surgeons can now enter the operating room holding a detailed, scale anatomical replica of the anatomy they will interact with once surgery begins. Collaboration between the Arizona State University Image Processing Applications Laboratory and Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH) has made this vision a reality and anatomical modeling with 3D printing is now a standard component of the PCH surgical planning workflow. This presentation will describe the advances in surgical planning that 3D printing has recently facilitated, and also explore several of the many new 3D printing applications in biomedical engineering that are only now being conceived of.

Prescribing Gigabit Therapies for Healthcare System Transformation
Donald A. Hicks, Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy and Public Policy, Special Assistant to University President, Executive Director of the Southwest TelePresence Network, The University of Texas at Dallas

Continuing advances across stand-alone ICT-technologies have set the stage for a new era of networked medtech systems in both on-site clinical and remote care settings. However, to date care delivery remains largely untouched by networked ICT advances. As a result, care-related cost pressures continue to build and improved patient outcomes continue to hover on the horizon. Many factors (clinical culture; organizational form, regulatory constraints, etc.) are implicated, with perhaps the majority being nontechnical and inertial.

This presentation will explore the defining attributes of ICT-enabled “intelligent medical systems” as components of aligned, agile and adaptive networked systems that promise (threaten?) to transform contemporary clinical settings. In order to accelerate their development, commercialization, adoption and implementation, we might consider borrowing from the experiences that led to the launch (and evolution) of organizations like Sematech and the supportive Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). In a relatively rare experiment in industrial organization, the industry reworked portions of their organization arrangements that inhibited their overall competitiveness. By promoting collaborative preproprietary RDT&E and tackling technical and knowledge deficits, broadly beneficial innovation flowed from coherent production alliances that reduced barriers to widespread adoption and implementation throughout commercial applications. Finally, a case will be made for appreciating that innovations – organizational more than technological – require focused strategies that are broader and more coherent than what is likely to be found today in existing product and sector-specific competitive contexts.

Wireless Communication & Charging Platform for Solid State Batteries in Miniature Implantable Medical Devices
Andrew Kelly, IC/Systems Architect, Cactus Semiconductor Inc.

One of the keys to successful miniaturization of Implantable Medical Devices is the use of Solid State Batteries, which are available in sizes significantly smaller than traditional implantable batteries. These Solid State Batteries have a low storage capacity, and have unique electrical characteristics, and thus require specialized circuitry to control charging, discharging, and monitoring functions. Cactus Semiconductor has developed a platform that includes all the specialized circuitry required to integrate Solid State Batteries into a Custom IC for any ultra-low-power Implantable Medical Device. With this platform approach to development, customization is limited to the unique features of each application, and thus the development time, cost, and risk are minimized. The platform features Wireless Battery Recharge and 2-Way Wireless Communication with a single Antenna, and also includes Supply Monitor and Ultra-Low-Power Timekeeping functions suitable for most Miniature Implantable Medical Devices. This presentation describes the features of this platform, and summarizes some of its advantages compared to alternate solutions.

Wedge Bonding New Wire Alloys for Medical Electronics
Lee Levine, Distinguished Member, Hesse Mechatronics

Wire bonding is the dominant interconnection method for electronic packaging, currently over 90% of all interconnections are wire bonded. The flexibility, reliability and low cost of wire bonded interconnections is unsurpassed. Even with the high cost of gold, the average wire bond uses less than $0.002 gold. However, even that small cost becomes large (more than $10billion) when many trillions of wires are considered. This has led to the rapid conversion of gold ball bonding to copper wire. Currently approximately 15% of the entire market has converted and as early production problems have been resolved and more products have been successful the trend has increased. Initial conversions were less expensive, lower reliability devices but more advanced products are right behind. There are, however, devices that will not be converted and many medical electronic packages are among them. The high value, demanding reliability and low volumes of medical devices make gold wire costs a less critical factor.

Medical devices require high reliability and must perform flawlessly in difficult environments. New wedge bonding quality tools, not available on ball bonders, are capable of monitoring the bond in real time, a patented sensor, built into the ultrasonic transducer, monitors the amplitude of the tool movement, and senses friction at the bond interface. Wedge bonding, because of its smaller bond size, room temperature bonding, lowest loop capabilities and low cost is the best interconnect method for these new devices. The discussion will focus on the use of fine pitch wedge bonding for medical electronic interconnections.

A Glimpse into the Future: Focusing on Health Rather than Health Care
Dr. Keith D. Lindor, Executive Vice Provost for Health Solutions at Arizona State University

Health care within the United States continues to be the source of constant attention and discussion. It’s clear that current systems provide suboptimal care at extremely high cost for a limited number of people. Many of the debates that are raging and that are ongoing seek to rectify these issues. More recently, attention regarding the differences between health care and health has been brought to the floor.

Many feel that improving the health of a population may help obviate health care costs. An example of this would be an attempt to reduce obesity by changes in diet policy and increasing physical activity as a means of promoting health rather than focusing on expensive alternatives to address the complications of obesity, such as diabetes or cardiovascular complications with expensive surgical procedures (health care).

The other major thrust which is particularly germane to those focused on medical technology is the move of health and health care from the hospital and clinical setting into the home environment. In order to do this, much attention will be paid towards various devices and monitoring needs. This is not only important here, but globally this is probably even more important where health care facilities are more limited. In some areas where the pressures on health are even more prominent, industries such as those attending this conference will be vitally important in helping to ensure this transition occurs smoothly, effectively and efficiently.

The Quantified Self: New Mobile Healthcare Technology
for Consumers

Tony Massimini, Chief of Technology, Semico Research

The health industry is faced with the problem of how to proactively engage consumers into monitoring and managing their conditions before they reach the intervention point, and to encourage users to integrate common healthcare solutions into their daily lives before they are afflicted with a chronic or acute illness. Through fitness and health apps, the healthcare industry can aggregate everyone’s personal health states and translate those into actionable items.

Mobile technology will make the human body a personal network to transmit as many metrics as possible. The goal of the Quantified Self is to aggregate as much data about their day to day activities as possible to enact change. Key technologies, companies and market potential will be presented.

Application of Embedded Planar Passives in Medical
Electronic Designs
Joel S. Peiffer, Lead Engineering Specialist, 3M and David Burgess, President, Ticer Technologies

Embedded passives, particularly embedded planar capacitors and resistors can assist in eliminating many potential electrical performance, EMC, space and reliability issues in high speed digital, analog, RF and mixed signal medical products. Very thin embedded planar passives have extremely low parasitics which allow them to efficiently operate at much higher frequencies and data rates than surface mounted discrete components. The resulting lower noise and EMI of embedded planar passives are ideal for high speed digital medical products such as CT, PET, and MRIs. Embedded passives are also very well suited for many high performance computing/supercomputing products that are utilized in medical/pharmaceutical research. Embedded passives have been successfully utilized in medical imaging and HPC/supercomputing applications for nearly 10 years.

Embedding passive functionality within the board/substrate frees up external board space which can be used to reduce the size of products or increase functionality within the same area. Use of embedded passives can also reduce the bare board and assembled board thickness. The combination of size and thickness reduction can be very effective in minimizing the volume (and weight) of space constrained medical devices such as implantable devices, hearing aids and wearable devices including MEMS sensors. Embedded passives have been successfully implemented in MEMS devices in high volume smart phones for over 5 years; utilization in MEMS medical devices appears to be a likely next step.

The reliability of medical products with planar embedded passives should be improved significantly as the surface mounted components, their vias and associated solder joints are eliminated from the design. Embedded planar passives are designed to be compatible with rigid, flexible (including flex-to-install) and rigid-flex boards, modules, substrates and interposers. This wide versatility makes them very effective in many medical products.

Finally, embedded planar passives can drastically minimize noise and voltage ripple which can allow the use of lower operating voltages. This can potentially extend battery life which can be a significant issue for implantable devices.

Wafer Level Packaging and TSV for Biomedical Applications
Michael Shillinger, Founder, Innovative Micro Technology

Wafer-level packaging (WLP) and customized electrical I/O schemes have become mature technology platforms within the MEMS industry. Both can be utilized in the biomedical industry. The need for these technologies was dictated by the sensitive nature of BioMEMS devices in the ambient environment. Some bonding technologies include: low temperature alloy, glass frit, anodic, silicon fusion, gold to gold thermo-compression, and polymer. WLP is required to insure that BioMEMS devices function properly outside of the cleanroom. TSV technology is useful in that it reduces the overall device footprint leading to a lower cost chip.

Solder Joint Creep and its Relevance to Implantable Electronics
Guna Selvaduray, Biomedical Engineering Program,
San Jose State University

Practically all implantable medical electronics have solder joints that provide electrical connectivity and mechanical stability. The performance of these solder joints is crucial for the long term reliability of the implanted electronic devices. While Pb-Sn solders are still being used in these devices, there is a gradual move towards adoption of Pb-free solders in order to be ROHS compliant. When in service solder joints experience thermally induced stresses due to the differential thermal expansion of the Si chip and the substrate on which it is mounted. The stresses experienced can be both tensile and shear, depending on the nature of deformation of the Si chip vis a vis the substrate. A further factor to be considered is creep, which can result in long term failure of the solder joint, even if the imposed stresses are below the ultimate tensile strength. Creep refers to deformation under constant stress, and usually occurs when the alloy is subjected to homologous temperatures that are higher than 0.5. The body temperature of 37oC represents a homologous temperature of 0.67 for Pb-Sn eutectic alloys. Previous research has focused on the creep behavior of solder alloys either under tension or under shear. In this research we developed a method to subject solder alloys to tension and shear, simultaneously, so that their creep behavior under these conditions can be studied, and compared to their creep behavior under unimodal loading. Sn-40Pb and SAC 305 solder alloys are being studied, at temperatures of 25oC, 37oC and 100oC. Both primary and secondary creep behavior are being studied and the activation energies for each deformation mode will be determined. This presentation will cover the experimental test method and the results obtained in detail. After the initial comparison of the performance of SAC 305 against Pb-40Sn, other Pb-free alloys will also be studied.

Co-authors: Melika Allami1, Mulugeta Abtew2, Steven Vukazich3, 1Biomedical Engineering Program, San Jose State University
2Sanmina-SCI Corporation, San Jose
3Civil Engineering Department, San Jose State University

Miniaturized electronic packaging for wearable health monitors
Jayna Sheats, Ph.D., co-founder and CTO, Terepac Corporation

Advances in MEMS process technology, coupled with the extraordinary production volume provided by mobile phones, have brought about cost reductions for a wide range of sensing functionalities which are reminiscent of the well-known Moore's Law for digital electronics, even though sensors are analog devices. These devices have great potential for continuous, unobtrusive monitoring of many physiological phenomena, which can provide valuable real-time feedback to individuals on their well-being, reduce visits to clinics for medical intervention, and lower the cost of effective healthcare. In order to realize this potential, however, they need to be comfortable to wear (to the point of being unnoticed), use very little power, and be quite inexpensive: this implies smaller, thinner electronic modules, ultimately with a band-aid-like form or labels integrated into clothing. We will describe a packaging technique which can enable this goal.

Designing More Reliable Medical Products –
Methodology and Case Studies

Mike Silverman, Managing Partner, Senior Reliability Consultant, Course Instructor, Ops Ala Carte

In order to design more reliable medical products, there are a number of important steps you need to take, including gathering documents, evaluating product risks, and understanding the use environment. You must then perform a detailed failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) to evaluate where the potential holes in the design may be. Then you need to perform a design review followed by a design verification test plan. Finally, you need to create a reliability test plan and execute the testing to ensure that you meet and exceed your customers’ reliability expectations. This presentation will address how to design more reliable medical products. In order to accomplish this, there are a number of important steps you need to take, including gathering documents, evaluating product risks, and understanding the use environment. You must then perform a detailed failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) to evaluate where the potential holes in the design may be. Then you need to perform a design review followed by a design verification test plan. Finally, you need to create a reliability test plan and execute the testing to ensure that you meet and exceed your customers’ reliability expectations.

The Next Generation of Smart Implants
Don Styblo, Vice President of Technology, Principal Client Advisor - Advanced Electronics, Valtronic

The use of miniaturized glass encapsulation can help developers of the next generation of smart implants face a variety of technical challenges. Extending the life of an implant’s power supply is a constant concern among implant designers. For example, the battery in a pacemaker or defibrillator typically lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on a variety of factors; however, replacing the battery is no simple matter because it actually requires surgery to replace the entire unit.

Some researchers are exploring ways to extend the battery’s life, perhaps by recharging it remotely from outside the body, via an external RF link. Others are considering the use of various body energy harvesting techniques, drawing on sources such as the patient's heartbeat, blood flow inside the vessels, movement of the body parts, and changes in the body temperature and converting them into electrical energy. There’s even been discussion of finding ways to convert the body’s own natural salts and sugars into bio-fuel that could be used to power and implant. Glass encapsulation, with its high transparency to RF energy, optical charging and communications will simplify this device. This presentation will address two main glass encapsulation technologies for use in smart implants: cylindrical glass encapsulation and planar glass encapsulation.

Microprocessor Technology in Ankle Prosthetics
Thomas Sugar, Professor, Department of Engineering,
Arizona State University

The Human Machine Integration Laboratory has developed powered prosthetic ankles.  This presentation will introduct the SPARKy ankle (Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics) which allows a user to walk forwards, backwards, up and down stairs, run, and jump. A servomotor is used to oscillate a tuned spring to assist push-off and lift the toe during swing.  A microprocessor controls the motor and is auto-programmed using Matlab/Simulink.

Technology will revolutionize the medical industry –
a 5-10 year look ahead

The coming revolution in healthcare and the medical industry will be driven by MEMS, sensor, and other emerging technologies. While these developments are exciting, they also will introduce significant challenges to the patient-physician relationship and to the effective use of accumulated data. This discussion will be a point-counterpoint format during which insightful viewpoints will be offered by professionals in the device manufacturing and emerging technology industries, along with medical clinicians. Discussion will center on which device feature-functionality is actually useful and will help promote increased efficiency and quality of care.

Panelists will discuss topics from the perspectives of:

Business Perspectives in the Healthcare and Medical Industries
over the next 5 – 10 years.
Nicholas Leonardi, Director of Business Development
Premier Semiconductor Services

Much in the same way technologies in healthcare and the medical industry are evolving, there is a parallel evolution taking place from the business perspectives. Technology and the internet are changing the ways of doing business, from storing of records and information to impacting the ways doctors, patients and other industry professionals interact. Administrators from high school to university levels are all well aware of business strategies required in preparing students to become industry professionals. Healthcare reform and regulations add a level of business complexity for everyone, from investors to entrepreneurs in the tech incubators to global corporate industry executives.

Others to be announced