In a recent series of articles about connectors for the medical industry, Samtec looked at some of the equipment that is used in hospitals. While much of their focus has been on the devices that are used in surgery and the care of patients, there is a significant portion of the medical industry that conducts its work away from the eyes of the public.
The behind-the-scenes work of countless doctors, nurses, and technicians is vital to the care of patients, both in the short-term care of patients and the long-term need to research new treatments for future generations (Figure 1). The equipment used in these activities is every bit as vital as the machines found in the operating room or doctor’s offices.
Figure 1: The equipment used in medical labs is vital to determining the course of patient care. (Source: Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock.com)
Life-saving treatment depends on doctors’ ability to detect and diagnose any condition as early as possible. The analysis of tissues and blood can provide remarkably detailed information about a patient’s condition (Figure 2). In order to provide the necessary information, the equipment used in laboratories must be capable of detecting substances in very small amounts, possibly even down to the molecular level.
Figure 2: The equipment used to test blood and tissue in medical labs must be precise enough to detect small substances, even down to the molecular level. (Source: Okrasiuk/Shutterstock.com)
Modern medical laboratories are tasked with testing blood and tissue samples. With the correct equipment, doctors can identify pathogens and infections to determine the best way to treat patients. The technology used to conduct these measurements must be capable of very sensitive measurements by detecting tiny electrical signals, using techniques as diverse as spectroscopy and chemical analysis. Any connectors used for these devices need to provide high reliability with very low signal loss.
The diagnosis and treatment of disease would not be possible without the tireless efforts of researchers over many decades, and this work continues today. This may involve understanding long-term conditions such as cancer or the rapid development of vaccines, as seen recently in the fight against Covid-19.
Researchers require machines that allow them to create many identical samples to experiment on research treatments and methods of diagnosis. Equipped with sensors and imaging systems to provide critical monitoring, these machines are at the forefront of medical design, and the connectors they employ need to be similarly advanced.
The pharmaceutical industry is vast. Currently valued in excess of $1.3 trillion, the pharmaceutical industry is responsible for manufacturing the drugs that are the end result of medical research. Supplying drugs and vaccines that are needed around the world requires the production of billions of doses every year. At the same time, the manufacturing process needs to be tightly controlled, with quantities of chemicals in the micrograms needing to be measured accurately (Figure 3). As a result, the equipment used in the production of pharmaceutical products needs to provide accuracy unrivaled in any industry.
Figure 3: The equipment used in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products must meet the highest accuracy standards. (Source: Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock.com)
Samtec understands that connectors used for medical research and testing need to deliver precision and reliability to achieve the best clinical outcomes. The high-speed connectors at the heart of Samtec’s product catalog are ideal for the precision that medical applications require. In addition, Samtec power connectors are tested according to the rigorous Extended Life Product and Severe Environment Testing programs that provide designers with the confidence that they need when creating medical systems. For full details of these programs, and to see how Samtec products are supporting the latest innovations in the medical industry, visit the new Medical Applications page on Samtec.com. You can also read more information about Samtec’s focus on medical electronics.
The Connectors for Medical Equipment blog was written by David Pike and was first published on Samtec.com.
David Pike is well known across the interconnect industry for his passion and general geekiness. His online name is Connector Geek.
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