6 / 9 / 2012
In medicine, operations must succeed at the first attempt. Perfect interaction between humans and technology is critical to success. Utmost precision and reliability are a must for the technical components. Passive connections by HUBER+SUHNER open up new opportunities for minimally invasive surgery, diagnostic imaging, wireless patient monitoring and radiation therapy.
For decades, the name HUBER+SUHNER has been synonymous with innovative, high-quality connectivity solutions based on a variety of technologies. Customers from the medical field appreciate our long-standing expertise, coupled with our high level of competence and willingness to develop customer-specific solutions. HUBER+SUHNER often works as a development partner to design complete connection systems from the ground up.
Minimally invasive operations
In the fight against cancer tumours, a new, promising procedure has been in use for some years now: microwave ablation using a minimally invasive technique. This involves inserting a probe into the tumour through a small incision in the skin. Treatment with radio frequency energy, which permanently destroys the tumour, is thus confined to a very specific area. HUBER+SUHNER offers a variety of components for these systems, such as extra small, highly flexible, low-loss microwave cables and special connectors. There is a great demand for customer specific hybrid solutions, where, for example, coaxial cables, cooling water hoses and wires for thermocouples are combined in a single cable system. The layout is very flexible and is tailored to match the customer’s system. Since disposable products are often used in surgery for reasons of hygiene, HUBER+SUHNER places a strong focus on continuous cost optimisation.
HUBER+SUHNER has collaborated successfully with leading manufacturers of diagnostic imaging for decades. This period has seen a number of major developments, especially in the field of magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI for short. MRI machines create cross-sectional images of the human body that show the structure of the body’s tissues and organs and support the assessment of pathological changes. For these diagnostic imaging devices, HUBER+SUHNER offers numerous products such as high-frequency connectors and fiber optic cable systems. Since MRI works with magnetic fields, non-magnetic components are required and the product range includes cables and connectors made of suitable materials. In the case of nuclear magnetic resonance systems, in which body tissue samples are cooled to -270 °C and examined, the signal lines often need to be routed through various thermal insulation layers. HUBER+SUHNER has developed and produced hermetically sealed coaxial connectors specifically for this purpose. The portfolio for diagnostics consists of numerous standard products as well as customer-specific solutions.
Wireless patient monitoring
A wide range of bodily functions are monitored for patients both during and after their time in the operating theatre. However, this monitoring is interrupted if a patient has to be transferred and the various cables need to be plugged into a different system. This is not the case with wireless Body Area Networks (BANs): instead of using cables to transfer data, sensors attached to the body use tiny antennas, thus avoiding interruptions. Since the start of the wireless age, HUBER+SUHNER has intensively researched and developed components for wireless communications. Since the requirements in the field of patient monitoring exhibit major parallels, numerous wideband antennas from HUBER+SUHNER have become indispensable in this area. Special, miniature board-to-board connections are also used in this area, because wireless body area networks require portable, small and lightweight units. Wireless patient monitoring will become even more widespread in the future.
Over the last 20 years, major investments have been made in research into particle therapy systems. Particle therapy is a modern form of radiation therapy that irradiates the diseased organ in a much more targeted way, thus avoiding damage to the surrounding tissue. International institutions in Switzerland are at the leading edge of this research, and HUBER+SUHNER has developed numerous connectivity solutions for them. Examples of this include radiation-resistant, low-noise cables or special, small high-voltage coaxial connectors for the equipment itself, as well as optical cabling systems for adjacent data centres in research institutions.
Despite all the research in the field of medicine, the work of doctors and surgeons will continue to be necessary in future. As it has done over the past few decades, HUBER+SUHNER will continue to develop solutions to equip the medical profession with reliable, highly accurate and innovative tools, thus opening up new perspectives in the field of medicine, and increasing the chance of successful first-time operations.