Flexible Printed Circuits Boards for Heart Monitors and Pacemakers

Flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) are used to connect many different types of various electronic components.

FPCBs are mainly used in display screens, hard disks, video cameras, mobile phones or other types of computers, as well as in the automotive industry.

However, what it is less well known is that the main advantages of flexible printed circuit boards are also perfectly suited for use in the medical industry, particularly with heart monitors and pacemakers. Let’s explore some of these advantages and how it makes FPCBs suitable for this kind of device.

The Advantages of Flexible and Printed Circuits Boards

Flexibility

The clearest benefit of using these components is their flexibility. This flexibility allows for strategic placing around the edges and corners of heart monitors and pacemakers. They can even be folded or creased around two corners. The ability does this allows for the creation of smaller and lighter electrical equipment. This is particularly advantageous with the creation of devices that are being placed inside the human body, although most electronic manufacturers are keen to keep the weight of their items as light as possible; it is a key reason why FPCBs are used in handheld devices such as smartphones and digital cameras. The lightweight and flexibility of these devices means that they can stand greater vibrational pressure while maintaining optimal performance.

Durability

The materials used to create FPCBs are highly temperature-resistant. They can typically withstand temperatures up to 400C, as well being shock-proof and moisture proof. This is why they can be relied upon in harsh environments, such as inside the human body.

Reliability

The PCB fabrication process is completed with high accuracy, plus there’s a relatively small amount of interconnections needed on these devices, compared to similar components.

As such, there are fewer places where a malfunction can occur, meaning it’s one of the more reliable types of circuit board. Fixing a malfunction within a pacemaker can be particularly troublesome, after all.

It is not just heart monitors and pacemakers where FPCBs are used in the medical industry. The advantages listed above mean they are also used within body temperatures monitors, blood pressure monitors, bionic limbs and defibrillators.

The increased demand for FPCBs in the medical industry, as well as the incredible growth of smartphones and other handheld devices are among the reasons why the FPCB market has been tipped to grow from $14.9 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion in 2024. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to continue holding the major share of this market during this time period.

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