In society today, technology plays a crucial role in almost all industries as well as in our personal life. In particular, the healthcare and medical sector is where technology is essential. Combining the latest technologies and medical device software development; this enables the healthcare industry to provide cutting edge procedures, treatment, and medical diagnosis; saving lives around the world. These advancements in medical devices are assisting physicians to determine diagnosis quickly, give continuous monitoring, and overall provide better treatments.   

What are Non – Invasive Sensors?

What are Non-Invasive Sensors?
Non-Invasive Pressure Sensor

The durable equipment, however, contains all of the parts that are critical for safely moving the fluid around – pumps, electronics, sensors, etc.  The durable equipment is never sterilized so it is critical that it never comes in contact with the medical fluids such as blood, saline, drug solutions, or dialysate. 

This is where the need for sensors comes into play – you often need to be able to safely sense different properties of the fluid, such as flow rate, pressure, weight, or air-in-line. Disposable, sterilizable sensors exist but they are often prohibitively expensive so Non-Invasive Sensors are required to be able to sense these properties though the walls of the disposable set without ever touching the fluid.

Many products like bubble sensors, most flow meters and all scale and occlusion sensors are devices used within non-invasive medical equipment. Throughout this blog we will detail a little more about each of these non-invasive devices.

Bubble Sensors as Non-Invasive Sensors 

SMD Bubble Sensors are used to detect the presence of bubbles in fluid and tubing for medical devices. They play a crucial role in determining a steady flow and preventing air embolism from occurring. Air embolism is when a gas bubble enters the vein or artery and blocks the blood from passing through your body; thus, making this potentially life threatening. A technical overview of our Bubble Sensors can be found if you click here. This will give you an understanding of the entirety of their job and provide you with many answers for the questions you have about non-invasive bubble sensors. 

We offer two types of non-invasive bubble sensors: AX3X and AX1X product family. The newest product, the AX1X, was designed specifically for OEM medical customers to reduce production costs and enhance performance. If you are having difficulty deciding between the different product types we have a summary table on the SMD Sensors website to help you determine the correct design for you. 

Scale Sensors 

SMD Sensors provide low profile weight scales for numerous capacities (0.1 to 1000 lbs). The scales have custom electrics and a full Wheatstone bridge, allowing a highly accurate reading. These scale sensors are constructed to enable splash resistance, overload protection and RF Immunity. SMD Sensors have a variety of ranges and materials to choose from, so we can work with you to create your own custom design. 

There are a variety of different scale sensors to suit all your requirements. The applications that are served by these highly flexible scales include force and displacement measurement; medical instrumentation, medical analysis systems and food dispensing equipment. 

Occlusion Sensors and Non Invasive Pressure Sensors 

Occlusions are a blockage of flow within the tube, restricting the abundance and preventing the device from working as it should. Occlusions in medical tubing can occur for a variety of reasons: a pinch valve malfunctioning; a patient rolling onto a flow tube in their bed; or an obstruction at the end of a catheter tip. It is vital to detect occlusions so a physician can be altered and the pump can be stopped. If this is not detected then this can cause a dangerous build up of pressure, overheating as the cooling liquid is occluded, or inadequate drug delivery in an infusion pump. 

How are Occlusions Detected?

There are many ways to detect occlusions in disposable medical sets such as non-invasive pressure sensors; flow meters; ultrasonic occlusion sensors; but, most commonly, load cell-based occlusion sensors. If you require a more in depth overview of Occlusion Sensors in Medical Devices, read our recent blog that details everything you need to know. 

Non-Invasive Pressure Sensors

Non-Invasive Pressure Sensors are extremely reliable at detecting occlusions as they can precisely measure the inside of a disposable set. To measure the maximum normal operating pressure, an alarm threshold should be set at any pressures presumed unsafe. The pressure sensors are non-invasive as the sensor does not touch the fluid , however, they do need a custom disposable module. 

Non-Invasive Flow Meters 

With regards to flow meters, SMD provides many ‘clamp on’ non-invasive flow meters to measure flow rate and other elements in flexible tubing. Non-Invasive flow meters provide simple flow management as they have sensors within them that automatically detect fill and flow rates. These are beneficial to have as non-invasive flow meters provide real-time management as the pump speed can be adjusted manually if needed. The clamp on flow sensors measure the flow of fluids using ultrasonic transit time techniques, maintaining high sterile standards and the sensor does not come into contact with the fluid. In particular, the UF32510 non-invasive sensor enables the option for it to be freely suspended on the tube.

The Importance of Non-Invasive Sensors 

SMD has extensive expertise in the development of medical device developments to aid medical staff in communication and acquisition. There are many Non-Invasive Flow Sensors to choose from, but SMD knows that there is no single solution that fits every problem. Because of this, our business caters for the individual needs of our customers; with 90% of our devices being fully custom engineered. Thus, helping you to find the perfect solution by meeting your specialized design and requirements. As well as this, SMD Sensors are ISO13485 and ISO9001 certified, giving us the ability to handle flowmeter design for both medical and industrial application. Take a look at the Benefits of Non-Invasive Flow Meters For Bioprocessing, to find out what makes our SMD flow sensors so unique.