Top 6 Medical Sensor Technologies that CIOs Must Invest in!

As the connected medical sector continues to grow, sensor technology is evolving dramatically to meet the demands of the industry.   

FREMONT, CA: With the ever-growing population, patient auto-monitoring systems are becoming more and more popular. Its popularity stems from being both consistent and repeatable besides being low cost. A sensor-mounted monitoring device in this category is versatile, and leading-edge medical sensor technology provides patient monitoring and critical care applications by giving accurate and reliable sensing outcomes to monitor essential vitals. Sensors are used as life-supporting implants, and preventive measures, for long-term monitoring of patients.

As sensors are small, robust, functionally sophisticated, and power-efficient, they become a natural choice in medical equipment design, particularly in smaller, portable, non-invasive equipment. Their small size also means that more room is available for placing other components or features within a medical device. Smaller sensors allow sensor placement in space-constrained areas, such as inside a device or the human body. Sensors play a crucial role in medical technology and healthcare intending to make medical devices effective and safer while simplifying their operations. For this reason, CIOs must take great care to keep track of the developments happening in this area. Here is more for CIOs on the latest developments in medical sensor technology. 

• Wearable Sensors

Wearable technology that can track physical activity, collect data, and provide real-time feedback to individuals is personalizing care delivery. Although there were technical challenges in adoption of wearable sensors in the past, new wearable skin patches can detect temperature, heart rate, movement disorders, and even release medication. Wearable sensors are poised to change the delivery system of healthcare. They provide better knowledge of an individual's health through monitoring, which drives down health costs in general.

Wearable biosensors in the form of shirts and smartwatches can act as a two-way communication tool between doctor and patient. It can be used for remote patient monitoring. Wearable allows the data to be collected, and it can present the view of what to do with the experimental devices and drugs. Consumer demand for sensor technology is taking off, and sensors ranging from passive to self-managing technologies are emerging.

• Implantable Sensors

Implantable sensor systems offer great potential for improved medical care and enhanced quality of life, consequently leading to significant investment in the healthcare field. These biomedical sensors represent the main component in the medical diagnostic and monitoring systems. It plays a vital role in an extensive range of applications in the healthcare area. Some of the implantable sensors can be implemented in measuring enzymes, and others are used to measure blood pressure. These sensors are tiny so that it can be easily implanted and explanted with less damage to the tissues nearby. The increasing incidence of critical diseases like cancer, heart failure, and others has stimulated the development of novel implantable devices for the localized treatment of these diseases. Recent years have witnessed an increasing demand in the use of implantable sensors, and new entrants are entering the marketplace with more innovations.

Implantable sensors and active monitoring devices are already used in the healthcare arena for continuous monitoring, administering drugs, and controlling vital organs within the patient. It can test for indicators of disease and regulate the release of a drug to help treat the condition. Implanted blood glucose system coupled to an insulin release is system —allowing patients to control their blood sugar level is a popular application available in the market.

  • Invasive and Non-Invasive Measurement Sensors

Invasive and non-invasive sensors and systems perform vital roles in medical care. They are steadily evolving over more than a century, and are now used widely to aid in diagnosis and treatment of health conditions and to contribute to advancing the fundamental understanding of normal and pathological conditions. Performing invasive measurement involves direct insertion into the human body of a sensor. To collect critical data, invasive and non-invasive measurement sensor technology is often used. Invasive sensors are tailored for applications such as arterial blood pressure monitoring and temperature measurement through micro-thermocouples in catheter assemblies. In non-invasive measurement, sensors or devices are positioned external to the body surface.

• Ingestible Sensors

Ingestible sensors are electronic devices with the size of a capsule composed of biocompatible materials that make up a power supply, microprocessor, controller, sensors-giving the device the ability to telecommunicate for disease diagnostics and monitoring. This real-time health technology can have far-reaching implications. As proof of this concept, there is an ingestible micro bioelectronic device that can monitor gut health.

Researchers are developing nano-sensors that can travel bloodstream and send sent messages to a smart device notifying the user of infection, impending cardiac arrest, and other cardiovascular issues. Admittedly, these nano-sensors and smart pill technologies are all set to change the game when it comes to healthcare. Ingestible sensors are a new concept, and scientists and researchers are working on even more impressive applications of them. 

• Biochemical Sensors

Biochemical sensors can convert a biological or chemical amount into an electrical signal. It includes a receptor, chemically sensitive layer, and electronic signal processor. A vast range of such chemical and biochemical sensor products are entering the market. The biosensor products have shown immense potential for applications in medical diagnostics and numerous industries like a pharmaceutical. Biochemical sensors have lower detection limits, high-level precision, and accuracy. It's ultra sensitivity, high specificity, low reagent consumption, and reusability are chief advantages to be exploited. It can also replace time-consuming laboratory analysis in medical diagnostics towards the point of care testing. The electrochemical and optic based biosensors are established in clinical chemistry laboratories for evaluation of blood parameters including glucose, lactate, urea, and creatinine. Firms need a concerted multidisciplinary approach for the implementation of the clinically useful biosensor in the market at a reasonable price.

• Pressure Sensors

Medical pressure sensing applications range from devices addressing measurements including blood pressure cuffs, respirometers, air concentration, and many more. Pressure sensors are used to measure different pressures which can be used to calculate volumetric flow rates, and gas or air volumes. It can also act as a switch communicating to control the change treatment method. They are generally used to monitor a patient's health and can be installed with respiratory devices and utilized with drug delivery systems. There are blood pressure sensors, cardiac catheters, neonatal catheters, respiratory, and much more available in the market.

The much-anticipated sensor revolution in medical care is on its way! The pace of transformation in this area will bring rapid change as new technologies and use-cases emerge to address the need for more high-quality, accessible, affordable, and patient-centric care. Countless patients, doctors, and caregivers around the world are already benefitting from intelligent sensor systems. Medical devices are taking advantages of sensor technology convergence. The increased interest in monitoring health using sensors is expected to become extensively common. It is expected to see developments in inherent accuracy, intelligence, reliability, size, power consumption, and cost in the future. As an essential step towards success, CIOs are suggested to keep track of these innovations and developments associated with sensor technology.