One to Watch: Image is everything with smartphone-sized ultrasound machine

In our ongoing series, ‘One to Watch,’ we profile TIers who are making a difference through innovation or citizenship.

Sandeep OswalIf you could take a scan of the future of medical imaging technology, it might reveal faster, more precise images with more dimensions and higher resolutions.

And in at least one case, you’d see an imaging device that fits in your pocket.

Just ask Sandeep Oswal. His job is to advance the tiny technologies that lie at the heart of medical imaging equipment. Among his accomplishments are innovations that enable engineers to build an ultrasound machine the size of a smartphone.

“The main thing that drives me is the chance to understand new problems,” said Sandeep, chief design engineer for medical imaging, based in Bangalore, India. “The problems we solve now are quite different in complexity and challenges than we did five or 10 years ago. Each sensor and signal chain is quite -unique, and solutions need to be quite specific in many aspects to be effective and impactful.”

Sandeep has created advancements in analog signal processing for portable ultrasound machines – advancements that reduce power consumption and result in a smaller, lighter battery. This helps enable the ultrasound machine to be much smaller, making it more portable.

Another of Sandeep’s projects is a low-noise analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which helps reduce radiation exposure to patients and medical professionals during X-rays. And yet another technology will help patients monitor their own heart rates and oxygen levels in devices like a wireless, sensing patch that transmits data remotely to smartphones and computers.

Sandeep enjoys working on products that will make a difference and have an impact on human health and health care. A driven problem solver who hails from a family of engineers, you could say he was born to be an engineer. The 20-year veteran of our company holds 24 patents and has about a dozen others pending in the domain of low-power analog circuit design and systems.

From Bangalore, Sandeep leads a global team that collaborates across oceans on new products for customers around the world. A TI Fellow, he is among our most recognized technical innovators – elected to the position based on outstanding and consistent innovation and mentorship of other engineers within and outside our company.

“He is one of our most technically distinguished experts,” said TIer Karthik Vasanth. And Sandeep’s skills reach beyond the lab. He has a rare ability to understand what customers’ need, propose an innovative solution and execute the plan, Karthik said.

“He’s involved from end to end – from the idea to talking with customers upfront about what’s needed in the product to development,” said Chuck Sanna, a product line manager. “Sandeep can do what the best designers do: Go from the block level inside the die to how it affects the customer’s line up.”

The ambassador role comes naturally to Sandeep, who has lived most of his life in India except for when he studied in Texas. A native of India, Sandeep came to the United States in 1995 to get a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He began working at our company in broadband communications in 1998.

Sandeep credits much of his success to teamwork. He derives a major part of his motivation from working with an extremely talented set of engineers across domains and as part of a team with very high drive and focus. This creates an incredible mix of challenges and opportunities to work on engineering solutions across domains of expertise.

“All engineers more or less think alike,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where you are or what your background is. Engineers want to solve the problem in the most effective and impactful way.”