Medical Connectors 101

Pulse-Lok® Medical Connectors

People interact with electrical interconnects throughout their day. While most of us use commercial-off-the-shelf interconnects (such as power cords, USB-based assemblies, HDMI cables, etc.), medical professionals interact with those, as well as interconnects designed for use in a medical environment. Let's look at what a medical interconnect is, how they indirectly affect the patient, review a few interconnects in application, and why Amphenol Alden is the right choice for your interconnect solution.

What is a Medical Connector?

All connectors, whether electrical, optical, fluidic, or pneumatic, allow for the transmission of a medium (electricity, light, fluids, air/gases, respectively) across a physical break in what is otherwise a continuous line. While many commercial / consumer interconnects are designed to meet a universally applied industry-standard interface (e.g., USB, HDMI, etc.), which allows for intermateability of product regardless of OEM / manufacturer, medical connectors do not necessarily follow this approach.

Commercial products can, and are, used on some medical devices when deemed acceptable for the application; however, design criteria unique to the medical device often dictate the need for a non-commercial interconnect. When an interconnect is explicitly designed for a medical application or device, you now have a medical interconnect.

How Medical Connectors can Affect Patients

When properly designed, medical interconnects eliminate distractions which may put patient safety at risk. Medical connectors should be ergonomic and intuitive to use for the caregiver, thus enabling them to do their job more effectively. This allows the caregiver to provide the best patient care possible, which improves the chance of recovery or a positive outcome from medical procedures.

Medical Interconnects for End Application

Depending on the type of medical application, different connector features help high-quality medical devices stand out from others on the market. Just as device engineers create their products with ease, longevity, and safety in mind, engineers build medical connectors to guarantee the same. High-quality cable assemblies not only meet the required technical specifications but are also easy to use and can reduce the risk of mismating. Furthermore, regardless of whether the interconnect is intended to be disposable or reusable, they are designed to provide the greatest value to the customer.

For example, medical connectors used on defibrillators may not require constant mating. However, they must be exceptionally robust and mechanically durable to survive their operating environment. Similarly, custom cable assemblies for imaging devices, such as endoscopy camera cable assemblies, must be lightweight, easy to disinfect, and survive many reprocessing cycles. With medical connectors for x-ray devices, they must meet high voltage operating requirements without risking unintended discharge. Meanwhile, wearable patient monitoring cable assemblies need to be exceptionally flexible for patient comfort while also ensuring signal integrity.

Choose Amphenol Alden for Medical Interconnector Solutions

To determine which medical connectors are best for specific applications means assessing each device's technical requirements and ideal performance. At Amphenol Alden Products, we offer various off-the-shelf interconnect solutions that are well suited to meet the needs of various medical applications and decades of experience assisting our partners in choosing the best solution for their needs. For high-quality, ergonomic, and easy-to-use medical connectors, select Amphenol Alden.

If you want to learn more about our medical connectors, applications, and configurations, contact Amphenol Alden today!