Ask a patient with an implantable medical device what they hope to get out of their device, and they’ll likely say reliability, small size and longevity. Unfortunately, according to a report by the Community Report Development Information Service (CORDIS) of the European Commission, implantable medical devices face a fundamental flaw; the more complex they become, the more power they consume, and the more prone they are to failure.
Experts from Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom think they have come up with a solution to this inherent weakness; On Demand System Reliability , or DESYRE (Pronounced “Desire”). Unlike the stretch of the acronym however, the stretch of their idea seems quite brilliant; count on the systems failing, and don’t let them.
Members of the DESYRE consortium plan to take the current system of modern implantable devices, high-consumption single “core” multi-function computing chips, and split their processing components into multiple low-consumption components (with some consuming power only in emergency situations), thereby extending the devices lifespan and reducing failure rates.
The DESYRE team believes they can boost reliability by integrating the back-ups while cutting power and performance “overheads” they’ve associated with “fault tolerance” by 10-20%, with a new system of reduced consumption and added fortification. According to Gerard Rauwerda, chief technology officer of Recore Systems B.V. of the Netherlands, one of DESYRE’s industrial partners, “The beauty of the DESYRE approach is that the system continues to do its job reliably, even if one or more cores fail.”
This post was written by Michael Maroni, former Public Policy Assistant at the Alliance.