Understanding home healthcare medical connectors

PEI-Genesis’ country sales manager, Angelo Meriggi, introduces buyers to the requirements behind home healthcare medical connectors.

The pressure caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has created a space where remote treatment can thrive, meaning patients with disorders like diabetes and abnormal blood pressure can now receive reliable healthcare at home. Remote patient monitoring often frees time for healthcare providers and their patients, while protecting vulnerable people from exposure to Covid-19.

A recent McKinsey report estimated that uptake in remote patient monitoring using telecommunications could be up to 38 times higher than before March 2020. This growth has been made possible by advancements in medical device technology—in particular, the innovations in electrical connector designs.

Traditionally, healthcare connectors needed to be robust to withstand heavy handling, IP67-sealed to protect from water ingress, and EMI-shielded to ensure data transmission is successful. While these
criteria are added bonuses for connectors used in home healthcare, patient requirements for connectors are different.

When using a medical device in a living room (glucose testing, monitoring blood pressure, etc) space is not always an option. Patients may already have restricted mobility due to their conditions, so devices with large footprints and complex wiring may be unsuitable.

Plastic push-pull connectors are often chosen for household medical devices because they are a cost-effective alternative to metal. Their small footprints make them ideal for portable or wearable medical devices, meaning patients are not inconvenienced by bulky, complex machinery.

Home devices must also tolerate some rough handling. Patients carrying their devices around in a bag or pocket may cause wear-and-tear to electrical components. Plastic is preferable to metal because if a connector is damaged, plastic connectors are easier to source and cheaper to replace.

To prevent connector and cable damage, Lemo Redel has been designing its plastic push-pull connector latching systems with outer-release sleeves. This ensures the connection cannot be broken if an operator pulls on the cable.

If the connector must be decoupled in a hurry, the operator can simply pull on the outer release sleeve for quick-release.
Protecting interconnects and contacts is important when designing connectors for medical devices. This is because connectors need to be higher speed and density to support greater data acquisition and transfer. If demand for remote patient monitoring continues to increase, ensuring the connector computing elements are safe and efficient will be vital.

Lemo Redel plastic push-pull connectors are simple to operate and can be colour coded to prevent accidental mismatching. The housing material can be sterilised without risk of water ingress, minimising risks of harbouring bacteria.

Just like patients need to trust their doctor, medical device original equipment

manufacturers must trust that suppliers are equipping them with the right connectors. PEI-Genesis is meeting increased demand for healthcare at home by cultivating relationships with manufacturers to combine flexibility, performance and safety into simple ergonomic designs.