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Shaping the Future of the Medical and Healthcare Industries Through Sensing Technology

By Honeywell | April 30, 2020

The medical and healthcare industries are the backbone of our community. They are challenged every day to offer the highest level of care to patients, while complying with rigorous legal frameworks, digitization, and stringent privacy requirements at global level.

Hemodialysis machine

Technology is a trusted partner along the way. Its continuous development and breakthroughs are bringing the help and peace of mind needed for healthcare personnel to build patients’ confidence and deliver the required services, while ensuring a high level of comfort. For medical and healthcare industries, products and equipment are key team members and their performance is paramount.

Medical Devices Are Key Team Members

Medical devices are key team members during emergencies, and planned procedures. They help diagnose problems, monitor patients and keep them stable and safe, and aid in recovery.

To enhance patience safety and comfort, medical applications and devices typically require sensors and switches that are highly stable and reliable.

Stability is often essential to minimize long-term drift, reduce the need for recalibration, and improve ease of use for medical equipment operators.

Reliability enhances patient safety in life-critical applications, reduces downtime, and improves test throughput in applications such as clinical diagnostics. The product needs to be easy-to-use and easy to design into a system.

Honeywell offers extensive customization and built-in calibration/amplification capabilities to ensure both stability and reliability.

Our broad portfolio of pressure, airflow, humidity, temperature, force, magnetic, oxygen, and SpO2 sensors provide enhanced accuracy, sensitivity, and long-term stability.

Honeywell’s sensors and switches are widely used in a variety of medical applications, such as hemodialysis machines, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, patient monitoring systems, infusion pumps, laboratory test equipment, anesthesia machines, sleep apnea equipment, and spirometers – applications which play a significant role in: keeping patients alive, helping patients build strength, helping patients breathe, assisting with patient monitoring and running tests in laboratories.

Pressure sensors

Honeywell board mount pressure sensors are extensively used within medical equipment due to high levels of accuracy, sensitivity, and reliability. Board mount pressure sensors are commonly utilized at ultra-low pressure ranges within ventilators and oxygen concentrators to monitor a patient’s breathing and detect when filters are clogged and need to be replaced.

Board Mount Pressure Sensors are available in a wide range of spans and can be specially calibrated to a specific pressure range. In addition to options for analog or digital output, various packages, and supply voltages, these products have some exciting capabilities, such as internal diagnostics, temperature reading, and even the ability to tolerate liquid media.

Honeywell heavy duty pressure sensors support pressure ranges up to 550 bar (8,000 psi) and are designed for demanding applications and environments. Heavy duty pressure sensors support a wide variety of media and are offered with a wide choice of ports and outputs. Heavy duty pressure sensors are used to monitor and control the flow of air and oxygen delivered to ventilators and oxygen concentrators. Heavy duty pressure sensors are used to monitor and control pressure within the surge tank.

Airflow sensors

Our airflow sensors are extensively used in medical applications.

When utilized in ventilators and oxygen concentrators, they measure and control the airflow to the patient and monitor the patient’s breathing. Zephyr Airflow Sensors are designed to measure the flow of air, oxygen, and nitrous oxide.

When used in Respiratory Monitoring: AWM92100V Series airflow sensors monitor a patient’s breathing. Zephyr Airflow Sensors measure the flow of air, oxygen, and nitrous oxide. They may be used so that the desired mixture, as set by the doctor, is delivered to the patient.

Medical gas chromatography requires precise and accurate monitoring and regulation of gas flow. Honeywell’s AWM40000 Series airflow sensor’s ceramic flow tube is designed to minimize outgassing with enhanced accuracy and reliability.

Force sensors are typically used within infusion pumps to monitor and control the delivery of fluids, medicines, or nutrients to patients. If the tube becomes blocked, the force sensor alerts the patient, nurse, or doctor via an audible alarm that the therapy isn’t being delivered.

Honeywell humidity and temperature sensors play a vital role in medical equipment as they monitor and control the temperature and moisture content of the air delivered to the patient, improving patient comfort. In addition, they measure and monitor ambient temperature and humidity either in the hospital room or in the patient’s breath/respiratory path.

Our magnetic position sensors are designed to provide reliable, highly accurate output for smooth motor control that reduces noise and vibration in the pump’s motor assembly and improves its efficiency. Its solid-state reliability often reduces repair and maintenance costs, and its small size allows for design into many compact, automated, lower-cost assemblies.

Oxygen sensors are the oxygen-sensing component of an oxygen analyzer that measures oxygen concentration in breathing gas mixtures. Honeywell’s lead-free oxygen sensors are an innovative one-to-one, drop-in replacement for existing lead-based oxygen sensors. Not only does the sensor fulfill the RoHS II regulatory requirements by being lead-free, but this advanced technology is temperature compensated and provides high accuracy of the sensor signal, low signal drift, and low cross interferences from common components of breathing gases.

Honeywell sensors and switches for medical applications

Warm, moist air from ventilators and oxygen concentrators helps to provide the patient with comfortable breathing, reducing sore throats caused by breathing cold, or dry air. Temperature sensing elements are installed directly into the air stream to monitor control the air temperature. Packaged temperature sensors are available as discrete components for customer-built assemblies. Honeywell can provide a full assembly solution which customers can simply pigtail into the system.

Honeywell sensors determine arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse rate (PR), as well as handheld monitoring systems (pulse oximeters). A finger sensor that can be seamlessly integrated in existing cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization processes may be reused again and again and withstands maximum mechanical stress. This means a rapid return on investment and huge cost savings compared with alternative solutions.

Honeywell subminiature Load Cells Models 31 and 11 are used in infusion pumps applications to monitor the weight of the IV bag. These load cells are designed to eliminate or reduce to a minimum the effect of off-axis loads.

MICRO SWITCH Basic Switches can be used as presence/detection for covers, panels, and doors acting as a fail-safe to prevent switching the machine when doors/panels are ajar. Several series are sealed to protect against fluids.

MICRO SWITCH AML Series are available as pushbuttons, keyswitches, and rockers/paddles. They are often used in medical equipment as off/on operator controls on the external face of the equipment.

MICRO SWITCH Pressure Switches can act as high-pressure warnings in the event of an error. The switch can illuminate a warning light/sound, or simply cut power in the event of a dangerous, over-pressure event.

Honeywell barcode scan engines, modules and decoding software are used in medical applications to help improve patient safety and enhance operational effectiveness. Integrating Honeywell barcode reading OEM solutions supports automated, more accurate and faster tracking of patient and caregiver IDs, ensuring the right medication, treatment and equipment are for the right patient, and tracking and validating sample IDs and associated information in the work flow.

And what better way to conclude our portfolio landscape for medical applications than a customer story?

When Surrey Sensors Ltd. (SSL), a cutting-edge technology company, needed support with their medical applications, they turned to Honeywell.

Surrey Sensors’ lung function sensor system uses Honeywell Board Mount Pressure Sensors for a scalable solution. SSL measures a patient's breathing using Honeywell ultra low pressure sensors. The system developed by SSL uses Honeywell Digital Board Mount Pressure Sensors to measure the flow of air through a patient’s lungs, even when it involves a cough or a sneeze. The non-intrusive, portable device helps pull life-saving information from a single breath.

“These sensors are ideal for our business,” said SSL’s Director of Research, Dr. David Birch. “They are the smallest, most sensitive, most reliable and most versatile that we’ve been able to find on the market, and allow us to continue to offer new products with world-leading functionality. Also, they come factory-calibrated. For us, this is a great benefit for practicality, cost, and certification purposes."

For more information, visit our medical page now or contact a sales representative.

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