This is a very good point. As preliminary answer, I would say it depends of the type of Medical Application you are looking for ( Portable Medical; Diagnostic and Therapy; Imaging). However, the best way to safe time would be to start by a reference design. On Freescale site (http://freescale.com/medical) which is a provider of high quality technical solutions that enable the development of breakthrough medical system, you can find an Activity Monitor Reference Design. I think this is for you a good starting point to assess/evaluate performance you need for your own Medical Application you are looking for developing.
Last point but not the least, I would encourage you to attend the Medical webinar organized by Freescale the 25th of October at the following URL (http://www.element14.com/community/events/3102)
I am a Freescale user and recommend new devices released by Freescale in terms of microcontrollers... the kinetis k50 family (www.freescale.com/k50), its a Cortex M4 based micrcontroller (has DSP instruction set, thatt can be used for sw filtering low amplitude/low freq signal commonly used in portable medical applications).
Freescale also has product longevitity program in this family of devices, delivering product to the customer by up to 15 years... very well valued in medical applications.
They also integrate operational and transimpedance amplifiers, so your final application is smaller in size and you can reduce cost and procurement logistics...
They have a complimentary usb stack with phdc (personal healthcare device class) communication, very good for standardizing with Continua Health Alliance. This reduces medical device development time. Same for the MQX real time operating system, FREE, and it includes an ethernet stack in case you need it for monitoring.
As highlighted by Cuauh, the K50 is the perfect fit for Medical Portable Devices. I would encourage you to learn more about it with the following On Demand Training:
Don't forget to attend the Webinar about Medical Market & Freescale Solution the 25th of October.
I'd like to gather some advice on designing new medical devices.
How do you assess the performance of the latest MCU’s which integrate analog peripherals, connectivity, user interface, …for your medical application without spending too much time and effort?
How do you validate the architecture of your next generation product knowing the increasing complexity with the addition of sensors, connectivity and Rich User interfaces?
Thanks for your feedback.