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Single-Chip Analog Front End Enables Wearable Remote Patient Monitor to Measure Four Body Vital Signs

MAX86178 Single-Chip AFE
MAX86178 Single-Chip AFE

Analog Devices, Inc. has introduced a single-chip analog front end (AFE) MAX86178 that integrates three measurement systems (optical, ECG, and bio-impedance) to obtain four vital signs (electrocardiogram, heart rate, SpO2, and respiration rate). The MAX86178 AFE enables synchronized optical PPG and ECG timing for derived health metrics and permits small vital signs devices by fitting those multiple functions into a 2.6mm x 2.8mm package. Moreover, to enable ultra-low-power features, the MAX86178 AFE provides each subsystem with configurable options to optimize battery life for specific use cases.


With three clinical-grade subsystems integrated into one IC, the MAX86178 triple system AFE replaces discrete implementations by integrating an optical PPG sub-system to measure heart rate and SpO2, a single-lead ECG sub-system, as well as a biopotential and bioimpedance (BioZ) sub-system to measure respiration rate. By integrating and synchronizing three different measurement systems to measure four vital signs, simplifies design and enables even more complicated derivative vital signs monitoring.


The MAX86178 has DC and AC lead-off detection, a flexible timing system, and a PLL. It is available in a 7 x 7 49-bump wafer-level package (WLP) with package dimensions of 2.77mm x 2.57mm, and operates over -40°C to +85°C temperature range.



  • Ultra-Low-Power Systems for Wearable Devices

  • DC and AC Lead-Off Detect Capability

  • Shutdown Current of 0.5μA (typ)

  • 256-Word FIFO for ECG, PPG, and BioZ

  • Flexible Interrupt and Multi-AFE Synchronization

  • FIFO Timing Data Allows Synchronized PPg, ECG, and BioZ



  • Ambulatory Heart Monitors

  • Impedance Cardiography/Hemodynamic Monitors

  • Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), Pulse Travel Time (PTT), Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) Assessments

  • Pulse-Oximetry Devices

  • Single- and Multi-Frequency Bioimpedance Analysis

  • Smart-Clothing Applications

  • Wearable Vital-Sign Monitors

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