What benefits does automation bring in the medical sector? How to improve industrial automation?
In times of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is worth taking a closer look at medical equipment. Especially in the devices that save the lives of patients. Over the past few months we have all seen those photos of patients in hospitals where they are connected to different “machines” that we normally do not see or treat.
In this article we talked about different medical equipment and what they are for. We also provide an overview of what automation and sensors in them can do, and how these support the incredible efforts of people working in the medical sector.
Many surgeries are only possible with respirators. The reason is that, under general anesthesia, breathing ceases, and ventilation maintains life. In addition to use in surgeries, it is also compatible with patients with respiratory system problems. This can happen as a result of Covid-19.
Covid-19 is the abbreviation for Coronavirus Wish 2019. The official name of the virus is “SARS CoV 2” (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2).
The very name already indicates why fans became such an important device in 2020. The ventilator setting should be synchronized with the patient’s lungs and breathing. Magnetically coded position sensors are the ideal choice for controlling the movement of the pump. Finally, its compact design allows integration into the fan.
These machines allow open heart surgeries, such as coronary artery bypass surgeries. During surgery, the heart stops. Then the cardiopulmonary machine takes over the key functions – pumping (circulating) and oxygenating the blood. It is essential to control the blood filling levels in the venous reservoir. Blood screening is critical because of its characteristics. Special capacitive sensors detect the minimum and maximum filling level of the tank. They offer versatility in many fill level detection applications.
Infusion pumps play an important role in hospital medication. Especially in ICUs (intensive care units) patients with serious illnesses are under constant observation. Medication pumps ensure the right medication at the right time and in the right amount.
Older medication pumps use limit sensors for the maximum and minimum position. The new generations use continuous measurement sensors that offer not only the final positions but also provide continuous information about the speed and the feedback of the position.
Magnetic tape systems allow accurate position feedback. In addition, they are very compact and can therefore be integrated into medication pumps. Medication pumps save lives, but they can also be devastating in the event of incorrect medication, flow or quantity. A safety version of a position feedback sensor increases the safety of operations. In addition, LED-based photoelectric sensors detect even the smallest amounts of liquids or microbubbles.
Another key equipment in the operating rooms are the surgery tables. To have better access to the patient, these tables can be moved in all axes. Not only in operating rooms but also in other disciplines of medical treatment.
In radiology, these tables move along six axes. Therefore, the movement bases (6DOF or hexapods) under the table place the patient for precise therapy. Linear transducers provide position feedback on hydraulically operated tables. Regardless of the technology for movement, inclinometers also provide accurate position information.
This is not a typical instrument for intensive care units, but it still saves many lives. People with severe renal insufficiency need dialysis. This means that a machine takes over the function of the kidneys – filtering and purifying the blood. Therefore, dialysates are required. The blood is pumped through the actual dialyzer and cleaned with the help of dialysis solutions. Thus, the sensors measure the filling level of new and used dialysate. Capacitive sensors detect liquids through the walls of the tank.
It’s about improving health with automation.
These are just a few examples of what automation companies in the life sciences industry can do to improve the equipment used in operating rooms, intensive care units or in nephrology. In the end, it is about contributing to improving the health status of patients.