Sensor Technology for Medical Devices: How Optical and Electromechanical Sensors Can Be Used to Improve Patient Outcomes

Medical procedures continue to evolve with the development of new technologies and production capabilities. These improvements have led to the need for more feedback and device data during procedures to help clinicians guide clinicians to more successful outcomes for patients. There are several different types of sensors that can be integrated into medical devices to measure critical inputs such as pressure, voltage and temperature. Integrating these sensors has become more difficult as the devices increase in complexity and decrease in size. Resonetics can support companies that want to add sensor capabilities to their device by designing, manufacturing and integrating optical and electromechanical sensors.

Optical sensors

Optical sensors consist of a sensor, an optical cable and a signal converter. The signal converter sends light through the optical cable to the sensor, which contains a mirror to reflect light back to the signal converter. The change in light from the sensor is measured by the signal converter and converted into a measurement. There are many applications where an optical sensor would be the best choice of sensor. One example is catheter delivery systems, where thin glass fibers require very limited space inside the catheter. The flexibility of the fiber will withstand folding as it passes through the curved anatomy inside the body. Optical sensors are commonly used to measure the pressure and temperature at the tip of the catheter.

Advantages of optical sensors:

  • There is no electric current passing through the fiber
  • The sensor is not affected by microwave radiation, radio frequencies and electromagnetic interference
  • The sensor is passive and will not affect other components
  • Excellent sensitivity and reliability

Resonetics has been producing products with optical sensors that have been used in FDA and CE approved brands for more than 15 years. The company offers a variety of ready-made sensors and reading devices that can be purchased for immediate testing and use. Resonetics can also customize optical sensors to meet specific measurement requirements.

Electromechanical sensors

Electromechanical sensors are circuits that can be used to measure specific parameters such as stress, strain and temperature. An electric current is passed through the circuit and the resistance of the circuit is measured and then converted into the desired data output. Electromechanical sensors can contain multiple circuit sensors that can measure different inputs simultaneously. The sensors also have a small footprint, which is ideal for use in minimally invasive surgery. Resonetics has an engineering team that can design custom electromechanical sensors, integrate them into a device, and develop test protocols to ensure measurement accuracy. Resonetics’ electromechanical sensors also require low power consumption and can be combined with contactless data transmission.

Advantages of electromechanical sensors

  • A small imprint
  • Low energy consumption
  • Great force / field strength
  • Low electromagnetic emissions
  • Low sensitivity to radio frequency fields

In addition to electromechanical measurement sensors, Resonetics can also manufacture wireless connectors for near-field (NFC) communication. These are inductive connecting coils that are used for contactless secure data transmission. They are useful for applications where a wired connection is not possible, such as an implant inside the body.

With leading experts in the industry and design and manufacturing processes at the speed of light, we enable unlimited innovation for unique and sophisticated medical device applications. Committed to providing customers with innovative and reliable solutions for a variety of measurement parameters in harsh environments and challenging applications, Resonetics speeds up time to market with unmatched efficiency and flexibility in the industry.

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