Every day there are advancements in medical technologies that improve our quality of life, raise our life expectancy, and prevent previously debilitating diseases. The world of healthcare was a very different place just one hundred years ago. The 20th century was a mecca of medical technology advancements that continue to contribute to the medicine that has become the norm today. In 1921, pacemakers, MRI scanners, cochlear prosthetics, insulin pumps, and ultrasounds, among a plethora of others, hadn’t even been invented! Yet, to us in 2021, these are universally known. Thanks to these inventions, behind us are the days where many diseases and conditions were labeled as "life-threatening".
While most of us would be able to identify a pacemaker, insulin pump, or cochlear implant if we saw one, knowing and understanding how they work is less common. Once we get passed the rigid outer assembly, the ‘brain’ of the device can be exposed. Generally, this is where a small battery and circuit board is housed, along with solder of course! The assembly of medical devices uses a wide variety of alternative soldering processes, of which the most frequently used solder products include paste, preforms, wire, spheres, and flux. Precision solder is required for these devices as they must be of high-quality and high-reliability, and be long-lasting.
The three main application categories that involve medical devices are wearable, implantable, and industrial. All of these devices work together in the medical field to diagnose, treat, and even cure illnesses and ailments. I will be going into more depth for each application segment in a new blog series by discussing the types of devices you can find in each category and the type of applicable solder. Stay tuned; first up will be wearable medical devices!