A medical connector could be a cable or wireless network, which allowsa connection to be established between the patient monitoring device and the information system in a hospital. Wired networks are preferred because they are more fast and stable. However they have high input cost at installation and then at maintenance.
Medical connectors are not only used in cardiac pacemakers but also in glucose monitors for diabetic patients and in blood pressure monitors. From MRI to defibrillators the connectors are crucial for the medical devices to function.
MARKET FOR MEDICAL CONNECTORS
With the growth in the global market for medical devices, the market for medical connectors has also risen steadily. Last year the global market for medical connectors was evaluated at USD 1.63 Billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 2.69 Billion by 2021. The market driving factors in this case are the rising popularity for healthcare at home and the increase in cases of minimally invasive surgeries. And it is due to these factors that the global market for medical connectors is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5%.
North America is the largest shareholder in the market till now, but soon Asia will be taking its place due to rapidly developing health infrastructure.
- MRI uses animaging tool to transmit an RF signal.
- IMDs send RF signals through the skin like a pacemaker or a glucose monitoring device.
- RFIDs are used by hospitals to track their equipment and monitoring its use.
- Diagnosis like ultrasound, CT scans etc. create a visual image of the patient’s internal diagnosis.
- Operating room technology like the video recording equipment allowing the surgeons to store the graphic images and videos which could be consulted later.
- Patient Monitoring System allows a hospital staff to periodically check a patient’s medical condition from a remote location.
Medical devices can be connected by both wired and wireless connectors. Wireless connectors include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. which provide more range but are prone to connection risks like hacking or lack of network signals due to weather condition or some other natural causes. Cable connectors are ideally suited for use in diagnostic devices, various surgical instruments, dental processes, cardiac devices, etc. The main requirement of these connectors is that they should be lightweight, water tight and should have EMI shielding for the assurance of safe data transfer.
- Medical devices are at a risk of cyber threat as recently happened in the case of ‘WannaCry’
- Upgrades for providing more reliable information and high security might take days.
- Connected devices are always at the risk of a computer virus.
- Connectors are device specific and have high costs.