Medical Devices become Smaller and more Mobile as Components become more Miniaturized: Part 1
Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Star Trek (any series) knows that the crew member wearing the red shirt on any team exploration is inevitably going to become a casualty. When the inevitable happens, there is always a medic or doctor that comes to the aid of the crewmember using a handheld medical Tricorder to diagnose the injuries (if they’re still alive).
While those shows are simply science fiction, the devices they use are fast becoming a reality as technology is increasingly becoming more miniaturized and portable. Also, the Google X-prize Tricorder contest may help push the miniaturization effort along. This fact is becoming more prevalent in the medical industry as diagnostic devices are leaving the lab and hopping into the pockets, vehicles, or homes of those who need them. This means that the technology will continue to require more robust, smaller, and lighter components.
Most portable medical devices on the market today center on patient monitoring or diagnosing using self-application sensors (pulse, blood sugar, temperature, etc.) along with mobile devices to send the relevant data to medical professionals. Using smartphone/tablet applications with simplistic sensors is fine for basic medical functions, but wholly inefficient when it comes to precision and in-depth analysis that most portable devices are capable.
As semiconductor technology continues to be miniaturized, more can be packed in the available space, like larger multi-core processors, increased RAM and storage, HD displays, or a host of connectivity IC options. For devices to decrease in size and become more efficient, the components must improve. Wire and cables are achieving this through modified polyphenylene ether (MPPE) insulation. Using MPPE as a wire coating allows cables to be 45% smaller and 40% lighter over a wide range of cables. For example, Alpha Wire offers a line of EcoGen cables and wires, which use MPPE insulation to offer a better product. In addition, MPPE is environmentally friendly and fully recyclable.
Stay Tuned for Part 2...