Q&A: Ensuring safe design of portable MedTech

Author : Neil Oliver | Technical Marketing Manager | Accutronics

01 January 2021

Accutronics portable medical device design_580x280
Accutronics portable medical device design_580x280

One prevailing trend in the medical industry is around the portability & miniaturisation of medical devices. However, it can pose challenges for medical device design engineers, in terms of safely balancing a compact profile with effective power.

The full version of this Q&A was originally featured in the January 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

Here, Neil Oliver, Technical Marketing Manager at medical battery manufacturer, Accutronics answers some common questions about the portability trend in medical electronics – and its impact on device power…

Q. How big a trend is miniaturisation in medical technology?
A. As with many other areas of electronic design, it’s no understatement to say that miniaturisation is massive in medical devices. This is, in part, due to the advancement of various technologies, such as semiconductors, sensors and imaging technology, which means it’s possible to design effective functionality into ever smaller footprints.

While most people will instinctively associate the phrase medical technology with larger pieces of equipment, such as ventilators or anaesthesia machines, devices have shrunk in the past couple of decades, allowing healthcare staff to relocate equipment as needed. For instance, if a patient needs emergency care, then more pieces of equipment can now be easily transported to the patient’s location, saving valuable time. In fact, as shown by NHS investment into Versius robots, there’s even appetite for portable surgical robots.

Alongside portability of larger medical devices, the increasing sophistication of portable computing has given rise to greater use of medical carts in hospitals. Without carts to transport the necessary computer systems and drug administration equipment, staff would be unable to promptly tend to many medical emergencies. And when you look at the ratio of patients to practitioners, which in the UK in 2017 was about 50:1, an effective medical cart can have a big impact.

Read the full article in EPDT's January 2021 issue...

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