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Force Sensor Manufacturer Wins “Best of Tradeshow”

Wed, 10/21/2009 - 5:32am


Bestoftradeshow.com has recognized Tekscan Inc. (Booth 1137), a provider of force and pressure sensors for product design, quality control, R&D, and/or testing, with the Best of MDM Minneapolis award.

Why did Tekscan receive this award, and why is it so crucial for engineers in the medical industry to know about its patented force and pressure measurement products? Tekscan’s president, Steve Jacobs, describes Tekscan’s role in the present and future of the medical device industry by pointing out that, “as products are getting smaller and more streamlined, they require sensing technology that is very small and thin, and as more and more patients are being equipped with products to help them monitor their own health on a day-to-day basis, the technology needs to be lightweight, low-power, and frankly, affordable.”

Some of the issues facing design engineers when it comes to selecting the right sensor technology for their product design include cost, accuracy, and turnaround time, to name a few. Tekscan’s work with the MammaCare device illustrates the importance of working with the right force sensor supplier. The recognized medical and scientific standard for clinical breast examination efficiency, MammaCare is the training platform used in the US and Europe to teach health professionals to perform effective breast palpation. When MammaCare needed a more stable, durable, cost-effective tactile force transducer for their PAD (Palpation Proficiency and Assessment Device), they turned to Tekscan.

The PAD system is comprised of tactually accurate breast models, instrumented with custom FlexiForce sensors. The ultra-thin sensor provided by Tekscan contains multiple force sensing points which enable the system to confirm correct placement of the fingers, as well as the level of force applied by the fingers. These paper-thin, flexible force sensors locate and relay over 1,000 levels of examination pressure within each square centimeter via a digital signal processor. This ability to quantify human palpation allows MammaCare to confidently certify whether clinicians have demonstrated appropriate examination skill.

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