Markt&Technik: What are the current trends in medical technology and what role does the IoT play in this?
Bob Stanton: Medical connectors will continue to split into two key markets: Disposable grade – including low cost home use – and Hospital Use grade. Omnetics only focuses on the higher end Hospital grade that require extensive use and often disinfection or sterilization.
Personal worn devices are also emerging on items such as FIT and Apple Wrist Watch products. Biomedical information, such as ECGs will be monitored and displayed as well as sent into the person’s medical office for the Doctor’s use. IOT will be used in the medical world to collect and share data but more restricted within one operating office or service technology. That is, ultrasound data will be collected and stored next to pulse and blood pressure of a patient. An attending provider can sit with the patient and review that data and enter discussion information to develop a patient file.
In the meantime, robot assistants and remote operation methods are being used in precision surgery. What does this mean for connectors?
The trends will follow evolving medical service techniques such as radiology and patient monitoring. As we do more to see into and through our patients, we are gathering massive amounts of digital data and that requires higher speed and higher capacity data processing and storage. Trends will include connectors and cable that handle very fast data, and 10 Gigabits per second will become more and more normal.
Which role do medical connectors play at Omnetics?
The Medical connector market has always been a key portion of Omnetics business. We have maintained the standards to supply products assembled in our Medical Device Clean Room laboratory as well. Omnetics medical business has grown consistently and is on a steady path upward.
Which applications are particularly in demand? Can you give us some application examples?
Leading items at Omnetics include connector and cable for Cochlear and Neuroscience devices. Sensing and radiology instruments are also key portions of Omnetics medical business. We find that Omnetics best serves medical instruments that need long lasting connectors that are very small but rugged. A number of Omnetics connectors are hidden inside the handles of medical devices that can be taken apart for cleaning and or for one portion to be disposed upon use. These “built-in” connectors are often designed using solid modelling to ensure perfect fit inside the probe or catheter handle.