Scared or anxious about ever coming into contact with one of those surgical tools or big hospital machines? Never fear, because your community hospital is now able to serve you better because of advances in medical technology. The age of innovation has brought about new “power” tools that enhance the safety, consistency, and efficiency of healthcare experiences, from testing in a laboratory to an operation on the surgical table.
Arguably, one of the breakthroughs has been in the development of the miniature motor design. In the case of the miniature brushless DC motor—as the name implies, a system with no brushes in which the motor shaft is controlled by electrical commutation—we have a type of technology that is well suited to high rotational speeds, the power to weight ratio, and control. Brushless DC motors are incorporated into much important equipment such as computer drives, ATM machines, cars—and the medical devices that help the health professionals that you know save lives.
Get to know a little more about health technology and motor design with this short, handy list of medical devices (both clinical and surgical) that use miniature motors—their names, how they work, and why they count.
These machines are depended on for studying clinical and biological samples, scanning chemical substances, and analyzing the molecular structures of liquids and gases. Amazingly, brushless DC motors can help the machine to analyze molecular activity at an efficiency of as much as 1000 assays, or samples, per hour.
In diagnostics, on the other hand, machines are used to obtain accurate information about the presence of a disease. Miniature motor technology aids in the precision of preps in the laboratory and in the gathering of reliable data about patients and their illnesses.
Surely you were introduced to the manual iteration of this tool in your biology and chemistry classes. But technology has since advanced the humble microscope with motor technology for a better lens, aperture, and light control, and greater accuracy. Magnifying the work that a microscope can do means magnifying our knowledge of what life looks like.
Speaking again of samples, one tool that helps manage, deliver, and contain substances is the electronic pipette. Pipettes are key tools in the lab for your neighborhood doctors, chemists, and molecular biologists. The compact motors aid in making electronic pipettes dispense liquids faster and more efficiently across multiple channels.
Miniature motors also appropriately power miniature pumps for both liquids and gases, depending on the specific type of pump. Brushless DC motors figure into the design of miniature pumps for better control and battery life.
It might make you squeamish to think about tools that can cut through bone, but it is precisely because orthopedic procedures are difficult and require utmost accuracy that surgeons depend on “cutting-edge” technology. The torque applied by a brushless DC motor enables a surgeon to cut powerfully—and cleanly—through human bone.
Powered ear, nose, and throat (ENT) instruments
On the subject of cutting tools, compact motors also power microdebriders, or the handheld tools with the difficult task of cleanly, efficiently removing tissue and bone from your ears, nose, or throat. Power-for-size is key for ENT surgeons who need dependable, easy-to-use, and mobile tools for these delicate operations.
The key word that guides design principles with miniature motors is “ergonomic,” meaning efficient, comfortable, and safe in the workplace. Your health service professionals benefit from the said ergonomic developments in the field of medical technology. In short, don’t be afraid of the scary-looking machines! Use this information to help you learn how both humans and technology serve our lives better—get to know everything about how your health really works.