Title
Multi-Channel Nerve Monitor
Microprocessor Technology Opens New Markets
Technologies used

Microprocessor

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    10-14 Mining and Quarrying
    29 Machinery, Electrical & Optical Equipment
    34-35 Transport Products
    40-41 :Energy Production and Distribution; Gas & Water Supply
    331 Medical, Precision and Optical Instruments
    333 :Industrial Process Control Systems
Abstract
The Magstim Company Limited is a small company specialising in the design and manufacture of electro-medical instruments. These products are marketed in the niche medical area of human nervous system stimulation and monitoring. The Company's product include a range of Magnetic Nerve Stimulators and a Nerve Monitoring System; the Neurosign® 100.

This product utilises discrete analogue components to amplify the very small nervous system electrical signals detected via needle electrodes placed in muscles to provide audible and visible indications for clinicians and surgeons.

The objective of the application experiment is to apply microprocessor technology to provide additional functional enhancements, including:

· Detailed waveform storage and display features.
· Expansion to 8 channels.
· Time measurement functions using software generated cursor facilities.
· Analogue signal conditioning functions including mute features.
· Data storage, comparison and archiving.

These additional product features will provide the improved Neurosign® 100 product with a major competitive advantage in a higher value market segment. The enhanced product competitiveness will generate additional sales of 41 units in the first year, with an increase in sales revenue of over 100%. This increase will be achieved because of the higher price of the improved product.

The total cost of the prototype development was 71.85 KECU, and the prototype development required 11.5 months to complete from the start date of October 1996. This development cost produced a payback period of 15 months and produced a return on investment (ROI) of 82.% in year 1 and 205% in year 2.

The microprocessor development programme resulted in the Magstim Company developing a formalised software design and review management process that enabled the development programme to be completed on schedule and to budget. This development approach has been adopted by the company as a best practice project management approach for subsequent replication projects.

The experience of introducing microprocessor technology into the highly regulated area of medical electronics will be of interest to other organisations operating in safety critical industrial sectors, such as transport products, mining and quarrying, as well as companies involved in the manufacture of medical, precision and optical instruments
Company
The Magstim Company Limited,
Spring Gardens Industrial Estate,
Whitland,
Carmarthenshire,
SA34 0HR,
United Kingdom

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microprocessor technology provided The Magstim Company Limited with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com

Univercity of Glamorgan
Mid Glamorgan
Pontypridd CF37 1DL
United Kingdom