Posted in | Medical Sensor | Biosensors

Maxim Launches First-of-a-Kind Biosensor Module Integrating PPG and ECG Sensor in a Compact Design

Currently, designers have come up with a simpler way to offer photoplethysmogram (PPG) as well as electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements for health monitoring from a mobile, battery-powered device.

Maxim Integrated’s MAX86150 provides accurate, synchronized PPG and ECG monitoring for mobile devices. (Image Credit: Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.)

The new MAX86150 from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. is a revolutionary biosensor module, consisting of photodetectors, internal LEDs, and an ECG analog front-end (AFE) to offer highly accurate, FDA-certifiable PPG and ECG performance in compact, power-saving modules, such as laptops, mobile phones, smart speakers, and tablets.

It has been challenging to delivering synchronized PPG and ECG measurements since designers have had to employ two separate biosensors that jointly use up more power and board space than a mobile device can normally afford. Moreover, it has also been difficult to achieve high accuracy in the measurements, specifically in cases where sensor sensitivity might be affected by dry skin or low perfusion levels. These difficulties are overcome by the MAX86150 by sampling both ECG and PPG at the same time to offer the highest sensitivity of pulse transit time. By shutting down the module through software with near-zero standby current, it is possible to limit battery drain while letting the power rails to remain powered continuously. The MAX86150 comes in a 3.3 mm x 6.6 mm x 1.3 mm, 22-pin optical module.

Key Advantages

  • Highly Accurate: The module has the highest common mode rejection ratio (CMRR) of 136 dB on the market, which is a measurement of noise rejection. The module’s 100 mA-capable, high-dynamic-range LED driver allows higher sensitivity on a variety of skin types. More accurate measurements are facilitated by a low-impedance contact for the ECG sensor, even in cases of dry skin.
  • Long Battery Life: With a typical ultra-low shutdown current of 0.7 μA, the module reduces battery drain. When compared to competitive solutions battery life is further prolonged through power consumption less than the closest competitive device.
  • Ease of Deployment: Due to its dry electrode operation, accurate readings can be obtained without requiring any fluids, gels, and wet or sticky pads on other parts of the body.
  • Small Form Factor: By incorporating an ECG sensor with an optical PPG sensor in the same size as a stand-alone ECG sensor, it saves space and offers considerably more functionality without the need for a third electrode (which are needed for the competitive solutions).


At-home healthcare monitoring contributed to a 35% reduction in hospital visits in 2017. With access to integrated cardio health monitoring from their fingertips, users will be able to keep close tabs on their well-being.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

The MAX86150 is another important breakthrough at Maxim, continuing the company's push to enable a healthier world. With highly accurate heart-rate measurements from a compact, low-power device, consumers will be empowered to be more proactive about their healthcare.

Mohammad Zarghami, Executive Business Manager, Industrial & Healthcare Business Unit, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.

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