White Paper: Medical

Considerations for Connector Design in Mobile And Patient-worn Medical Devices


Medical device designers face some of the most stringent requirements in the world. Everything must be safe for the patient and safe for the operator. In addition, devices can be put through years of U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) trials and trials in Europe, so reducing the risks associated with any device is paramount in the designer’s approach.

Devices must look modern, provide a positive patient experience, include more technology and functionality in a smaller space, and work in an increasingly global market. Every device must satisfy a different set of parameters. How will the device be used, who will be using it, and how long it will be used? Will trained medical professionals will be operating devices or will patients be the end users? Is it meant to be disposed of after a few uses or is it expected to last for years? Will it be used in a dedicated clinical/hospital setting or will it be carried from place to place?

Connectors and cable assemblies play an important role in all these trends, as they deliver power to hand tools and handheld diagnostic equipment and return signals to mobile consoles and surgical systems. They work with sensors to keep warming blankets at the right temperatures and can even be part of vests, jackets, and other clothing that is important to measuring and maintaining a person’s health. Selecting the right connector and cable assembly solution can help build small, safe, stylish, and functional devices that hit the right price point to keep manufacturers competitive while keeping risk low for both the patient and the operator.

This white paper takes a look at the increasing need for mobile and patient-worn devices and makes recommendations on proper approaches to designing interconnect solutions for those applications. Because Class III medical devices (implantables) carry much more stringent FDA rules and oversight, this white paper addresses the challenges of designing Class I and Class II devices only.

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