Medical Device Miniaturization Made Possible by Reed Switches

The Internet of Things (IoT), whereby almost everyone and everything will be connected to the Internet, is vastly becoming a reality. The medical community stands to be highly impacted by this, with more patient monitoring devices now connecting to the web and being controlled by smartphones and applications. One innovation that makes this connectivity possible is the magnetic reed switch. Magnetic reed switches can be used within medical devices like hearings aids to detect the use of telephones and cell phones then automatically adjust the hearing aid for optimum sound for the wearer. Magnetic reed switches are also used for remote manual stepping of hearing aid amplifier gain.

In addition to the IoT connectivity capabilities, advancements in sensor and reed switch technology have resulted in miniature reed switches. These highly reliable reed switches act as a driver for the production of improved healthcare equipment in the medical industry.

The miniaturization of medical devices does offer tangible advantages to both clinicians and patients alike. Smaller pill cams, for example, are more easily ingested by patients. Likewise, smaller hearing aids are less invasive and therefore more comfortable for the wearer.

This push for smaller devices, along with the ability to produce them, has accelerated the need for the continued advancement and application of reed switches. Companies like HSI Sensing, are able to provide manufacturers with reed switches that not only reduce the spatial footprint of these medical devices, these reed switches are able to maintain the tight sensitivities and performance characteristics required in the medical industry.

The reed switch and sensor markets are anticipated to grow owing to the increasing demand from the medical industry for highly specialized, sensor-based healthcare equipment. For instance, the sensors used in canal hearing aids drive the demand for reed switches in the healthcare equipment. Other applications of reed switches in medical equipment include feeding tubes, pacemakers and defibrillators, magnetic resonance imaging, external cardiac diagnostic monitoring, dentist drill activation, spirometers, and more.

Making the existing switches smaller, better and more durable will always be the current agenda of progressive reed switch manufacturers like HSI Sensing. Companies with the ability to continually improve reed switch development will only reinforce the popularity of this long-standing technology for years to come.