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Micromotors for healthcare applications

As healthcare technology continues to advance, so do the number and complexity of applications for electrical drive system technologies. The constant innovation in healthcare supports the actual treatment of patients, the protection of healthcare workers and the efficiency of healthcare facilities.

DC micromotors are a common product that EMS provides for healthcare applications thanks their simple control over wide speed ranges and high starting torque. It’s essential that micromotors used for healthcare applications are of medical grade quality and offer the accuracy and reliability required for their applications.

Personal protective equipment

Respiratory protection is a crucial component in personal protective equipment, especially since viruses primarily spread through respiratory droplets. Closed PAPR systems (powered air-purifying respirators) are the superior choice as they incorporate wearable ventilation systems with fans that provide filtered, contaminant-free air.

Precious-metal commutated DC-Micromotors and brushless DC motors from FAULHABER are ideally suited for this critical application.

Rehabilitation exoskeletons

Exoskeletons, which were originally created to prevent strain in factory workers, are becoming increasingly common in the healthcare sector to help patients regain movement in rehabilitation therapies. Exoskeletons have controls, sensors and motors to mechanically move parts of the body, with an accompanying battery back that is worn on the patient’s back.

Fine speed control allows patients to instruct the exoskeleton to perform a range of tasks, from walking at pace to slowly navigating a steep incline. Motors must also be able to work under load, such as when the patient is in a seated position or on a staircase.

The motors should have a high torque to power these movements, as the patient’s legs will need to be completely assisted by the exoskeleton. However, high power must also be matched with small size and low weight to minimise weight and bulk of the exoskeleton and make it more comfortable for the patient to wear.

Infusion pumps

Infusion pumps are a useful piece of kit to support the 15 million people in the UK with a long-term physical health condition. Ambulatory infusion pumps (AIP) are used to deliver chemotherapy drugs over a period of several days, allowing patients to remain mobile during treatment. Similarly, insulin pumps support those with type one diabetes to manage the condition without the need for injections by administering insulin when blood sugar levels drop too low.

Delivering drugs through these pumps requires the utmost precision, as the smallest deviation from the required dose could have dangerous consequences. EMS supplies FAULHABER’s drive technology, which guarantees cogging-free running to ensure drive-related vibrations or running noises are not noticeable in the device. It also delivers high power in a small space envelope, ideal for keeping the pumps as small and lightweight as possible.

Point-of-care (PoC) analysis

In situations where prompt results are crucial for making quick decisions in settings like intensive care units, outpatient departments, or doctors' practices, point-of-care tests become essential. PoC testing is diagnostic analysis that is performed at or near the site where the patient is located — bit it a molecular, antigen or antibody test. With analysis conducted onsite, rather than it being sent off to a separate laboratory, PoC tests can provide results in a matter of minutes, as opposed to hours or days.

Point-of-care analysis devices are nearly fully automated and, with the use of test strips, require minimal user intervention. To meet the demands of such applications, the drives employed must be compact, yet highly reliable and fast. FAULHABER offers a range of suitable options, including DC micromotors with graphite or precious-metal commutation, as well as stepper motors, making them an excellent choice for these critical tasks.

Case studies

Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) systems

Respiratory protection is an especially important part of personal protective equipment. After all, the virus spreads through respiratory droplet transmission. Closed PAPR systems provide ideal protection for medical personnel.

Wearable ventilation systems provide filtered, contaminate-free air via a fan. This allows medical professionals and clinical personnel to be personally protected from exposure to the virus, while still being able to care for COVID-19-infected patients.

A PAPR requires drives that are lightweight, compact, and powerful. Especially for current conditions, the PAPR motors must also be reliable and high efficiency, to keep up with the longer staff shifts and increased demand of essential medical staff. The FAULHABER portfolio includes precious-metal commutated DC micromotors as well as brushless DC motors that are ideally suited for this application.

Read the full case study here.

With more than 30 years of experience supplying the market across the UK and Ireland, EMS can specify micromotors for your aerospace or aviation application. To discuss your requirements, get in touch with a member of the team today.


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