Medical electronics is a domain where advancements are too late. The existing technologies or equipment like electrocardiography, X-ray medical imaging and stethoscope gave rise to the new technology developments in medical electronics. The advancements in both medical and electronics industry have led to improvement in equipment. Scientists’ new inventions help the medical professionals: physicians and paramedics in treating and diagnosing the patients. Here are a few advancements made at present in the field of medical electronics.
Diagnostic devices are one of the advancements in the medical electronics field. With the help of this devices, the electrical engineers will quantify, records the sounds and displays them graphically on oscilloscope or on an chart. Now, the clinician or the physician will check the temporal relationship among the various components of the sounds displayed and then identifies the murmurs nothing but sounds and these are are the signs of the heart valves diseases or the other parts of the heart.
The other way to understand the relation between how the heart works and the progress of disease is by looking at a plot of sounds made by the heart. Here, the engineers and the physician will measure the amplitudes of various components of phonocardiogram and also temporal relationships.
Further advancements in this technology is made using voice printing the sounds on a 3D plot of amplitude , time and frequency components.
Understanding electrical fields and currents is associated with mammalian cells, organisms and organs is a major advancement over the last few years. Electrocardiograph is a device, which was developed based on electricity was simple when compared to the string galvanometer developed originally by Einthoven’s.
With the help of this electrocardiograph, the electrical activity of the heart is recorded in different directions, which helps the cardiologists to understand the rate of heart beat. Other equipment that use bio electricity is cardiac pacemakers, which helps in controlling heart beats, and electrical stimulation aural and visual senses given by Cochlear prosthesis, visual prosthesis, etc.
Medical imaging is the other area in which medical advancements are done over last 100 years. Among the various advancements made that uses medical imaging technology two are noticeable they are CT (Computed tomographic) scanner and MRI. These both shows the images with different anatomical structures. Today many countries use the MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) for the identification of various diseases in the body replacing or surpassing the CT scanner because the CT scanner will only scan the bone parts and other soft issues were as MRI scans the soft tissues as well as shows the contrast between tissues with varying water level.
Nuclear Medicine Imaging:
This advancement takes the help of nuclear medicine through which images are made to diagnose the disease process in the body with the help of physiology and cellular function. This imaging done will have radionuclides that are combined with other elements which can form chemical compounds or else they are combined with existing pharmaceutical compounds that can form radiopharmaceuticals. This nuclear medicine is know given to the patient which can localize cellular receptors or specific organs. Know the radiopharmaceuticals will give the nuclear medicine the ability to take the images. Further advancements will provide imputes to the molecular medicine.
Imaging With Visible light
Miniature camera technology lead to the wide spread of endoscopic devices to be produced which help the physicians to visualize the inaccessible areas of the abdominal cavity, reproductive organs and urinary tract etc. The endoscopic devices which are used earlier used fiber optic cables which are attached with external cameras to take the images but now, miniature video cameras can be affixed at the edge of the device which allows to manufacture more versatile and flexible instruments. New techniques will reduce the decontamination as they don’t have much issues with cleaning and sterilization process which is not the case in the earlier procedures.
Other new technique called capsule endoscopy is having capsule that contains video camera and a radio transmitter that passes easily through guts which can transmit color images to the external monitor attached to the device.
Sensor is the important part of the medical instrumentation system which is responsible for interfacing between biologic organism and electronic system that process data. This sensors will collect the physiological data which will interact with biological structure without any changes made in the properties.
With the advancement of the micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology in biomedical sensor and instrumentation lead to the reduction in the size of the biomedical sensing device while increasing the complexity. Even though, there is a problem in the connections between the sensors and the signal processing, readout devices. This problem is know rectified with the help of wireless body sensor networks.
Further, future enhancements in the medical electronics field will be more helpful for the physicians to diagnose the problems easily and effectively.
Read the rest of this entry »