How to Choose the Right Medical Sensor Provider: 5 Key Considerations

How to Choose the Right Medical Sensor Provider: 5 Key Considerations

Integrating sensors into a medical device begins by choosing the right sensor for the application. But it also means choosing the right sensor provider. Here is what to look for when making a choice.

Sensors make, well… sense of the world we live in. They convert an analog world, where there are environmental phenomena like temperature, pressure, force, flow, and others, into a digital output, easily read or displayed. 

By converting physical inputs into data, these small, sturdy devices are providing useful information to users, who can then make informed choices based on these readings – be it a sudden change in indoor temperature, a change in the flow rate in an infusion pump, or a change in the air and oxygen pressure in a ventilator.

Sensors are used in everyday and industrial applications, ranging from medical to aerospace and everything in between. Choosing the right sensor from the right provider is essential to developing applications that can enhance healthcare professionals’ performance and improve patient care and recovery. 

Sensors’ measurements are essential in healthcare settings. Many medical devices have, at their core, sensors which provide vital information about the temperature, position, chemistry, pressure, force, and load. Medical sensors are embedded in devices such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, dialysis machines, pulse oximeters, infusion pumps, and many others. The measurements provided by these sensors are used by doctors to base their medical decisions on and improve patient care and treatment.

Here are five criteria to consider when choosing the right sensor provider:

  1. A broad portfolio of products. Being able to bring several technologies together and offer a wide range of sensing products can make a difference between sensing providers. This way, customers looking to embed sensors into their healthcare applications can reduce their vendor base and buy more sensing products from a smaller number of providers. A broad product offering can include sensors for pressure, force, airflow, oxygen, temperature, as well as switches, gas sensing, barcode scan engines, and software.
  2. Longevity of the supply chain. Medical devices are built for longevity in the marketplace. As these applications usually stay on the market for 10 or more years, their critical components – including sensors – have to be sourced from trusted and reliable suppliers, who have a solid supply chain.
  3. High-quality sensing technology. Medical applications are life-saving devices. The embedded sensors are playing a critical role in the operation of these medical devices, so they should provide world-class quality and durability, even for the most stringent requirements for critical care devices. Sensing solutions should meet basic, as well as complex application design challenges. Also, the sensing technology provider should be able to offer engineering and service support, as well as custom engineering solutions, involving further integration, software, or additional capabilities. 
  4. Smaller, smarter, mobile. The medical scene is changing, going from medical devices used in healthcare settings to intelligent, mobile, easy-to-read, and single-use devices for the home. Medical device designers are looking to make their applications smaller, smarter, mobile, and easy to use even by people without medical expertise so that patients can integrate them into their lifestyles with ease. As devices become mobile, they require sensors with lower power consumption due to the limits of the battery power. This evolution towards homecare drives the innovation in sensor technology.
  5. Affordability. Moving into disposable healthcare devices, as the volumes go up, the pressure to find sensing solutions that are reliable, perform well and are affordable, also increases. Design engineers who create medical devices need high-performance sensors that are, at the same time, cost-effective. Identifying a sensor technology provider that meets all these requirements, has a flexible range of products, and has a track record of designing custom engineering solutions for medical applications can, however, be challenging. 

Honeywell Sensing Solutions applies decades of sensing technology expertise to design high-performance sensors for the medical industry. With innovative technology, broad product offering, and experienced engineering support, Honeywell is partnering with leading medical equipment manufacturers to develop new sensing solutions enabling more accurate and reliable monitoring of patient health. Discover Honeywell’s entire portfolio of sensing solutions for critical care applications


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