Medical battery manufacturer Accutronics has released a whitepaper exploring the changing nature of medical technology (MedTech) across Europe. The whitepaper, which is available to download for free from the Accutronics website, explains the importance of effective design engineering in medical devices and equipment, particularly in light of the rise of medical wearables and regulatory changes.
Accutronics has worked with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the medical sector in Europe and worldwide for many years. During this time, the company has often stressed the importance of proper consideration of critical power components during the design stages of product development.
The modern MedTech whitepaper argues that this is becoming more important as MedTech develops and the number of inpatient admissions grows. The company argues that growing trends such as miniaturisation will cause constant ‘performance versus portability’ dilemmas for design engineers unless properly addressed.
“Looking at the medical sector, we can see innovative technological advancements gradually coming to the fore,” explained Michele Windsor, global marketing manager at Accutronics. “For example, the healthcare sector is one of the biggest adopters of wearable devices. As such concepts become more widely used, it is critical that design engineers adjust their design considerations accordingly.
“It has always been advisable that design engineers accommodate the power supply at the earliest possible stage of product design, but smaller devices make this even more important. It is far too late in the design process to create a small space for a battery to go in the device and then simply ask a battery manufacturer to fill the space. While it is often possible to do this, it is often not the most effective use of space in the device.”
The whitepaper also explores wider industry shifts, such as those prompted by an evolving regulatory landscape. Over the next five years, MedTech OEMs will be introduced to new EU directives for medical devices, which the EU states will modernise and improve its existing legislative framework.
Likewise, societal changes have changed the way healthcare practitioners operate, with staff significantly outnumbered by the number of patients they must care for. Accutronics notes that this has created a greater practical reliance on medical carts in healthcare to power portable devices, which subsequently makes powering carts a growing concern for medical OEMs.
“It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen medical carts become a truly critical part of healthcare,” continued Windsor. “As such, we’re now seeing an industry demand for a change in power supply to improve safety and performance. Historically, medical carts use sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries, which are maintenance-intensive and poorly suited to the regular discharge cycles of constant medical use.
“Our whitepaper explores how manufacturers of medical batteries are responding to this with alternative chemistries, such as lithium-iron phosphate, to improve performance and longevity. This is an important consideration for both medical cart OEMs and technical procurement staff in a hospital — one that will fundamentally impact a practitioner’s ability to tend to patients effectively.”
Medical design engineers, OEMs and hospital staff interested in learning what the changing nature of MedTech will mean for them can download Accutronics’ whitepaper here.