Sensors for Medical Applications

In the world of technology, digital machines and devices are as paramount to a clinician’s duty as a stethoscope. From monitoring vitals to ventilators, electronic devices are fundamental to the life of a patient. These devices perform the critical tasks by using highly advanced and accurate sensors installed within them.

For example, ventilators sent high standards for components and the sensors must be highly stable durable and reliable.  A variety of sensors are employed in the ventilator – these include airflow sensors that regulate airflow, oxygen sensors that control the percentage of oxygen in the air to be delivered to the patient, pressure sensors that are responsible for the critical inhaling and exhaling process and temperature sensors that modulate the temperature of air

Pressure Sensors

Pressure sensors are one of the most common type of sensors for medical equipment. They can be used for example to:

  • meter and measure the anesthesia gas so that pressure doesn’t exceed the desired level
  • to keep water flow constant in dental instruments, allowing smooth operation, as well as control all the pneumatic tools required
  • control a hospital bed’s air columns to help prevent patients from developing bedsores
  • measure pressure in blood pressure monitors
  • monitor airflow rates to provide continuous positive or negative air pressure to prevent contamination
  • monitor and control the flow of fluid in syringe, insulin pumps and kidney dialysis machines
  • detect when the patient begins to inhale for efficient oxygen delivery and measure in/out patient airflow
  • sensor monitor blood pressure

Pressure Transducers – Heavy Duty  & Sanitary Pressure Transluders

Pressure translucers can be used for exampleare used to test the ventilator’s air and oxygen valves.

Force Sensors

  • Infusion, Insulin, Syringe Pumps
    • Force sensors detect blockage in the pump’s tube that delivers medication
  • Kidney Dialysis Machines
    • Force sensors detect the presence/absence/weight of a dialysate cartridge
    and monitor flexible tubing pressure
  • Surgical Equipment
    • Force sensors regulate a fluid management system’s pump head pressure

Airflow Sensors

  • Anesthesia Delivery Machines: Airflow sensors measure air, oxygen and nitrous oxide flow
  • Hospital Diagnostics : Airflow sensors specifically designed for gas chromatography eliminate
    sensor outgasing
  • Oxygen Concentrators: Airflow sensors detect ultra-low airflow levels that sense when the patient
    exhales for efficient oxygen delivery
  • Sleep Apnea Machines: Airflow sensors monitor breathing and send an output to reduce airflow when
    the patient exhales
  • Spirometers: Airflow sensors measure the airflow from the patient upon exhalation
  • Ventilators: Airflow sensors measure air and oxygen flow so the correct amount is delivered to
    the patient

Temperature & Humidity sensors, Thermistors & Thermostats

Temperature sensors motitor, control and limit temperature changes, such as:

  • Prevent overheating in blood analyzers monitor chamber, diffusion lamp and motor
    temperature to prevent overheating
  • Thermostats in patient warmers control or limit temperature
  • Thermistors provide enhanced temperature control of the permeation rate across the kidney dialysis membrane
  • Humidity sensors deliver warm, moist air to the patient

Magnetic Sensors

  • Anesthesia Delivery Machines: Magnetic sensors enable smooth motor control that reduces noice/vibration
  • Dental Equipment: Magnetic sensors enable occurate control and posistioning of the dental imaging system and promote energy efficiency in hand-held, batterey operated dental equipment
    Hospital Hardware
    • Magnetic sensors enable locking/unlocking of medication dispensing cabinets
    • Magnetic sensors in exercise equipment may be used as an emergency
    stop switch, to count RPM and to determine incline position
    • Magnetic sensors or basic switches in hospital beds determine bed
    adjustment beginning and end positions
  • Hospital Rooms: Magnetic sensors enable smooth motor control that reduces noise and
    vibration (infusion, insulin pumps only
  • Sleep Apnea Machines: Magnetic sensors enable smooth motor control that reduces noise/vibration
  • Ventilators: Magnetic sensors enable smooth motor control, reducing noise/vibration

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