3 Force Sensing-Powered Medical Devices Empowering Clinicians

Force Sensing technology empowers the sensors embedded in medical devices, aiming at optimizing medical care delivery.

FREMONT, CA: The medical device market is growing significantly. Against the convention, the primary target for the medical device market is not the patients, rather the medical care providers who are seeking new devices that will not only enhance procedural outcomes but also improve patients’ quality of life. Despite massive strides in terms of advancements in medical science, there exist several diagnoses and examination methods that are solely dependent on the interpretation and the experience of the physician. However, the engineers, alongside, have realized that technology can assist with manual actions of the doctors. For instance, in the case of physical therapy, the amount of force applied by practitioners can reach up to 500 percent of the required measure, which can be dangerous for the patients. Force sensing technology can address this issue as it helps in not only exerting the exact amount of force but also provides the physicians with the accurate measurements of the applied force. Here are some of the medical devices where force-sensing technology will contribute significantly.  

Surgical Devices

A major contributing factor to any successful surgery is the interaction between a surgeon’s tools and a patient’s body. With advancements in medical science, surgeries are increasingly getting less invasive. However, the small devices used for invasive surgery depend on the measurements of the integrated force sensors. For instance, endoscopes incorporate pressure sensors through the body areas that need to be examined, which can help in detecting certain conditions such as cancers or examine the overall health of an organ. The range of force required in such devices leads the engineer to design medical devices that improve surgical environments and increase patient survival rates.

Assisting Living Devices

The application of force-sensing technology goes beyond the hospital setting. After surgery, a patient is assisted with medication and some form of the medical device. An assisting living device allows monitoring the progress and health of the patient after treatment. As the devices are generally required to be kept near the patient’s body, they need to be light, small, and noninvasive. Small, force sensors offer an easy solution designed to gain accessible data from such devices quickly. For instance, wearable, drug delivery infusion system can detect life-threatening blockages when they are equipped with small force sensors.

Medical Training Devices

Field experience is an essential component for medical students before they become medical professionals. Gaining knowledge and skills on how to treat medical conditions requires adequate training with respect to medical devices as well. However, several trainees lack the ability to perform techniques such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Sensor-based CPR training programs, with interactive CPR manikins, provide essential features such as vital sign stimulations and technique assessment. 

Thus, force-sensing technologies are an integral component of several medical devices. Sensors are thin and can interact with the user by producing tangible and quantifiable data. Such data produced by electronics and sensors allow medical care providers with invaluable insights into their patient’s recovery process and health. Further advancements in technology will enhance the efficiency of the medical devices, and force-sensing technology will remain at the forefront.