Perhaps the foremost trend in Medical Devices today is miniaturization. As Steve Kennelly of Microchip Technology stated, “Size is always an important design consideration, but in the case of medical devices, physical size is frequently linked to function.”
Indeed, space constraints and portability needs are the main driving forces behind this trend. In fact, many patients are taking devices home to monitor conditions that warrant constant attention. “A patient is far more likely to use their glucometer, insulin pump, or oxygen concentrator if it’s unobtrusive and easy to carry. Finally, devices like electrocardiograms and automated defibrillators are transitioning from the confines of the hospital to home use,” said Kennelly.
As a result of this portability, Robert Stanton of Omnetics has found that, “The medical industry has seen a rapid increase in the use of digital in items such as catheters, defibrillators, and monitors, and as a result, medical equipment is sending more electrical signals than ever before.”
With an increase in demand for electronic components coupled with the need for smaller devices, manufacturers like Alpha Wire are developing new products to help enable OEMs meet their customers’ demands. Just last year, Alpha introduced an extension of our flagship Xtra-Guard product line. The new Xtra-Guard 26 and 28 AWG products have the same best-in-class quality and performance in a smaller, more flexible design.
Smaller gauge conductors help reduce the cable diameter, provide better flexibility, increase compatibility with today’s smaller connectors, and still provide the high performance and system reliability for which Xtra-Guard is known. Moreover, the Xtra-Guard 26 and 28 AWG lines are available with Alpha’s patented Supra-Shield, a proprietary foil/braid high-performance shielding that consists of a trilaminate foil and tinned copper braid to achieve exceptional EMC performance – critical in medical devices.