How Electrical Engineering Innovations Have Impacted Healthcare

What is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. This area of engineering has grown tremendously since its early days when scientists invented the first rudimentary batteries and simple direct current (DC) motors.  The field today has expanded into a number of specialized categories, including power generation and transmission systems, motors, batteries and control systems. Electrical engineering also includes electronics, which has itself branched into an even greater number of subcategories, such as radio frequency (RF) systems, telecommunications, remote sensing, signal processing, digital circuits, instrumentation, audio, video and optoelectronics. Much of the ongoing innovation happening in this field can be credited to electrical engineers. These engineers are designers, inventors and builders who work on a wide range of electronic components, devices, and systems in a variety of industries.

Electrical Engineering Innovations Advancing the Healthcare Industry

Recent and significant electrical engineering inventions and advancements benefiting healthcare include:

  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Robotics
  • 3D printing
  • Microsensors and nanosensors
  • Wearable technology
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Health information technology
  • The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

Electrical and Electromechanical Medical Devices

Many types of medical devices today consist of both mechanical and electrical components. As medical and drug delivery devices grow increasingly complex, it becomes more common for other engineering specialties, such as electrical engineering, to intersect with the mechanical development of a device. Electronic medical equipment is used in healthcare every day. A few examples are:

  • Mobile medical apps
  • Myoelectric prosthetics
  • Neural implants
  • Hearing aids
  • Pacemakers
  • Defibrillators
  • Glucose monitors
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)
  • Robotic surgical systems
  • Battery-powered medical devices

Gilero’s Electrical Engineering Capabilities

Gilero offers contract design & development and manufacturing services for medical devices, drug delivery systems and combination products, including those that require electromechanical and electrical engineering expertise. Our engineering teams have designed electronic components and systems for an array of medical devices, such as infusion pumps and cassettes, dialysis systems, electronic inhalers, wearable smart sensors, and mobile medical apps. Areas of expertise include:

  • System architecture
  • Schematic development
  • Electrical engineering design
  • Printed circuit board design
  • PCB and PCBA prototyping
  • Sensing solutions for temperature, pressure, touch, proximity, level, gas, optical, etc.
  • Motion control
  • Process automation
  • RF communication (WiFi, BLE, LoRa, Zigbee, Cellular)

The Future of Electrical Engineering

This field of engineering is rapidly growing, from innovations in electronic medical devices to wireless power transfers and electric cars. For the medical industry in particular, two needs that are being addressed by these electrical engineering innovations include safety and precision. With the increased developments in robotic surgery, procedures are becoming more precise with less room for human error. Healthcare robotics will continue to evolve alongside advancements in machine learning, data analytics, computer vision, and other technologies. In addition, wearable technology will continue to advance as more clinicians and users become interested in tracking heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and other health metrics outside of a clinical setting. The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) ecosystem is another area experiencing growth, thanks in part to developments in electrical, software, and firmware engineering. Electrical engineering innovations are not showing any signs of slowing down, and the healthcare industry is benefiting greatly from these technological advancements.

If you need help with your next electronic or electromechanical medical device project, the experts at Gilero can help.  Contact us today!

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