A Look at Today’s Medical Electronics Landscape
Mel Berman, former product marketing manager (now retired) for TDK-Lambda Americas, was a part of the staff written article, “Portability Is the Name of the Game.” He took time to present a full array of responses that were not able to be included in the article, so they are presented here.
Q: How are advances in electronic components helping the industry move to portable healthcare?
Berman: Advances in electronic components such as improvements and miniaturization of microprocessors, expanded solid state storage, longer life batteries, Wi-Fi devices, and implantable sensors are all contributing to the move towards portable healthcare.
Q: How are consumer electronics impacting the design of electronic medical devices?
Berman: The widespread use of smart phones and tablet technologies are being incorporated into medical devices. Touch panels, icons, pull-down menus, etc., have impacted the design of medical devices.
Q: What is the biggest limitation currently holding back medical electronics from developing further?
Berman: The need for smaller components and more sensitive medical sensors are limiting factors.
Q: What advances need to be made in power solutions for portable technology to advance further?
Berman: The need for longer life batteries (or other power sources) and lower power component technologies will be required for advances in portable medical devices.
Q: How are electronics impacting traditionally non-electronic medical devices?
Berman: More and more non-electronic medical devices are being replaced with electronic versions. Examples include: non-touch thermometers, wireless EKG monitoring, and the transmission of other biogenic data via wireless smart phones or the internet in real time to medical specialists.
Q: How are advances in electronic components impacting the functionality and capabilities of implantable devices?
Berman: Reduced size and improved power sources are major factors.
Q: Where are medical electronics headed over the next five to ten years?
Berman: Expanded employment of robotic surgical devices and non-invasive scanning/analytical devices that feature substantially reduced radiation risks.
Q: Any thoughts/comments on medical electronics or another related area that you would like to share with medical device manufacturers to aid them?
Berman: For implantable sensors/transmitters, I think the development of power sources that take advantage of the body's movement, temperature, and chemistry (a.k.a. "energy harvesting") will support the next big breakthroughs in medical devices.