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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


MedTech Innovation—Digitized, Miniature, Remote Molex, LLC

(Source: Microgen/Shutterstock.com)

A patient undergoes a minimally invasive procedure via a surgeon employing a robotic device. As a result, recovery time is reduced and can be spent at home. In the meantime, a wearable medical device administers medicines while merging seamlessly with the patient’s day-to-day activities. The device also transmits biodata to a doctor who uses the information to track the patient’s condition in real-time.

This is a snapshot of MedTech’s potential. Thanks to technological developments in wireless data transmission and the miniaturization of components, minimally invasive procedures and remote healthcare are becoming an everyday reality.

Drug-Delivery Devices

For instance, these converging technologies hold the potential to transform healthcare with digital drug delivery. Molex and its medical device delivery division, Phillips-Medisize, commissioned a survey on digital health and the future of pharma in April 2021, gathering responses from 215 qualified pharmaceutical professionals representing a range of roles and regions.

The findings confirm an increasing adoption of digitized drug delivery and uncovered opportunities and challenges involved with this new technology. For example, a third of survey respondents are already marketing digital drug delivery therapy, and 65 percent believe the technology is extremely or very important to their companies’ future plans.

Respondents were largely in agreement about drug-delivery devices’ impact on healthcare, with 92 percent expecting better health outcomes. They felt the therapeutic areas had the greatest potential for benefiting from these devices include endocrine, respiratory, inflammatory/immune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease.

Additionally, these devices make treatment more convenient for patients, which potentially can improve medication compliance and, ultimately, outcomes. In Molex’s survey, 69 percent of respondents cited increased patient engagement as one of the factors driving their organizations’ interest in drug-delivery solutions.

However, to optimize the benefits of remote healthcare, engineers need to design wearables that encourage regular use by addressing durability and reliability requirements while also providing patient comfort.

Consumer and Medical Wearables

The presence of both consumer and medical wearable health-monitoring devices is common, and their capabilities keep expanding. Wearable health-monitoring devices can measure multiple bio-functions, such as temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and more.

Despite the differences in the regulatory hurdles they face (or avoid), both medical and consumer wearables have common design challenges inherent in creating a comfortable and easy-to-use device while also being reliable and accurate.

Supporting the need to keep wearables lightweight and compact, some auto-injector and wearable systems require microminiaturization and wireless connectivity. In response, Molex delivers compact board-to-board, signal wire-to-board , and flat-printed circuit connectors, such as the Easy-On FFC/FPC Connector and SlimStack Connector families, connect PCBs and flexible circuits, along with Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, NFC, and wireless antennas. Additionally, Molex offers Premo-Flex cable jumper assemblies that provide durability and flexibility and USB Type-C and Type-B I/O products, making connectivity solutions simpler, more comfortable, and more reliable.

Many of the goals of wearables for improving healthcare outcomes, along with some of the design challenges, are shared by another cutting-edge MedTech development—robotic surgery.

Surgeons Using Robots

Robotic devices help surgeons perform operations with previously unachievable precision. However, combining functionality into a single machine requires complex electronic systems, and designers are under pressure to deliver the best possible performance, along with low latency, in the smallest possible package. This becomes even more significant when the time comes to connect the robot to the outside world.

Molex Compact Robotic Connectors (CRCs) provide a compact solution for small robotics where durability meets clean-room aesthetics. The connector system was designed to meet various medical and clean-room applications’ space savings and shielding requirements. Furthermore, Molex’s rugged, high-density Versabeam Array MT cable assemblies are designed to exceed market requirements for high-bandwidth medical applications. Adapted from the Molex traditional data communication and telecommunication inter-chassis connections, the interconnect system has proved valuable in robotic-assist surgical applications and picture archival communications systems (PACS) applications. When space constraints are an issue, hybrid designs can reduce the number of connectors needed and provide easy installation for most applications. The use of hybrid connectivity also can bridge the transition from electrical to optical by combining fiber and copper in a single connector housing.

Multifunctional Cardiovascular Devices

In the quest to develop effective methods of treating cardiovascular disease, doctors are turning to innovative energy sources and advanced technologies to guide diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring after treatment. Microwaves, cryo-energy. and even lasers are providing physicians with the ability to treat patients using minimally invasive techniques that deliver the best clinical outcomes.

The integration of multiple modalities in a single catheter brings with it considerable complexity. For example, the high number of wires and cables required means that the connectors need to feature high contact densities while also delivering superior performance.

Molex’s compact 433MHz ISM Antenna delivers more space savings and higher radiation efficiency (>50 to >56 percent, 50mm to 300mm cable length) for its size (90.00mm by 40.00mm). The Molex 868MHz and 915MHz ISM Antennas with MobliquA Technology enable significant antenna volume reduction while eliminating the need for expensive circuits and the frequency tuning required for ground plane-dependence issues. Additionally, cardiovascular device applications require both power and a signal. Molex has been at the forefront with connectors such as the Mini-Fit Connector Family, which offers up to 8.5A with a 3.00mm pitch, delivering power in a compact package. Because reliability is crucial in cardiovascular devices, Molex offers the Micro-Fit TPA Connector Family, which helps prevent failure in end products by providing terminal position assurance (TPA).

Conclusion

Technological developments in wireless data transmission and the miniaturization of components and connectors have enabled more effective remote healthcare in drug delivery and minimally invasive robotic surgery. Whether it is wearable devices engineered to provide a drug-delivery solution or robotics helping surgeons perform precision operations. Molex's vast selection of interconnects and high-performance compact antennas are leading the way in helping to transform the healthcare industry and enable MedTech's vision to become a reality and deliver the best clinical outcomes.



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Molex logoMolex brings together innovation and technology to deliver electronic solutions to customers worldwide. With a presence in more than 40 countries, Molex offers a full suite of solutions and services for many markets, including data communications, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, commercial vehicle and medical.

Discover Molex's product lines, products, videos, and other support at Mouser.com/Molex.


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