Could this compact and portable battery-powered handheld device revolutionize the sector?

Nordic Semiconductor has told Incisor.TV that U.S. medical device startup, ClearTrac Technologies, could be set to revolutionize the urology medical sector with the launch of what the company claims is the world’s first totally automatic, bladder function medical measurement device that allows patients to measure their voiding (passing urine) patterns from anywhere by employing a Nordic multi-mode LTE-M/NB-IoT nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP).

In operation, the CarePath is used in a similar way to a pregnancy test whenever a patients uses a toilet to void. However, using patented technology, the CarePath remains in a deep-sleep state until a capacitive sensing grip in its handle and an accelerometer detect it’s being correctly used. It then makes high accuracy measurements automatically and collected data is sent directly to the cloud via encrypted cellular IoT. The whole process is totally automatic from the patient’s perspective. This includes a one-month (rechargeable on return) battery life in the field.

“Voiding measurements are to a bladder dysfunction doctor what blood sugar measurements are to a doctor treating a patient with diabetes,” explains ClearTrac Technologies CEO, Dr. Brent Laing. “But until now, every time I sent 10 patients home to keep a voiding diary with a manual plastic commode the typical experience would be only three would return. And of those three one would be filling in an invented diary in the waiting room, one will have completed a diary but done it incorrectly, and just one of the original ten would have successfully completed the task.”

Laing says Covid-19 has also significantly increased interest in his device from hospitals that are now keen to minimize unnecessary patient contact as well as avoid having nurses tied-up doing labor-intensive manual medical measurements of any kind (hospitals commonly perform bladder measurements when taking patients off catheters, for example, or when prescribing diuretics that are used to treat a wide range of conditions). 

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, Nordic says that the nRF9160 SiP includes everything a cellular connection and IoT application needs beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a ‘System-in-Package’ (SiP) that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The SiP includes a powerful application processor (Arm Cortex M-33), standard microcontroller peripherals, and enough chip-integrated memory to execute IoT applications with edge computing. Yet this is apparently not achieved by sacrificing on-air performance. Nordic suggesting that the nRF91 is capable of delivering ‘class-leading’ output power (+23 dBm) and sensitivity.

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