|Platform Sensors Enable Design for Flexibility|
The first installment in our series discussing how different medical device applications can benefit from selecting sensors that use a platform approach to product development.
Component flexibility can translate into lower costs, faster time to market, reduced assembly time, and a streamlined supply chain for medical device designs. Components that offer a variety of options within a product family platform allow medical device designers to quickly meet their application requirements and eliminate the need for a costly custom device.
Honeywell's Zephyr airflow sensors are designed to function in a wide range of applications. Potential medical applications include anesthesia delivery machines, laparoscopy, patient monitoring systems, spirometers, ventilators, and ventricular-assist devices (heart pumps).
This is especially true when it comes to sensors. A platform approach to sensor lines can address the design community's need for speed of samples, speed to change a design, and speed to production. With the ability to choose among multiple options and parts, designers can move forward with their lowest-cost designs to meet their time-to-market requirements.
Platform-based sensors can be used in a variety of applications with minor tweaking or fine-tuning in software. They can offer a range of options for port styles, mounting types, voltage, and outputs (digital or analog). This allows medical device engineers to easily and quickly make changes to their equipment design and specifications without having to start from scratch, which could result in product launch delays and additional costs.
The platform approach can accommodate many unique properties of medical device design, including concerns with size or shape, manufacturing processes, or other electronics used in conjunction with the sensors. In addition, the building blocks that make up the sensor platforms are validated from the beginning to ensure a high-quality and reliable product.
When evaluating different sensor products, whether they are pressure, airflow, or force sensors, designers need to ask the right questions. What types of options does the sensor family provide? Does the product line offer options that allow it to be used globally? Are the sensors validated and calibrated? Can different configurations be provided quickly? This ensures the best sensor is selected for the application in terms of both performance and new product launch requirements.
This six-part blog series will discuss how different medical device applications—ventilators and anesthesia systems, dialysis machines, eye surgery, wound therapy, infusion pumps, and analytical instrumentation—can benefit from selecting sensors that use a platform approach to product development. These sensors enable medical device designers to customize the sensor to meet their requirements across multiple applications.
AJ Smith is director of product marketing at Honeywell Sensing and Control, where he is responsible for leading, managing, and directing all product-marketing-related activities within the pressure and thermal business. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his MBA from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus with specializations in finance, strategic management, and international business. He can be reached at Andrew.Smith5@Honeywell.com.