Medical equipment is essential in the medical sector, but do we know what types there are and what they are for?
No matter how robust our health is, throughout our lives we have been, are and will be users of some kind of medical service. Whether it is to corroborate that we are in good health, to be diagnosed with a disease or to prevent a future pathology, medicine plays a crucial role in our quality of life. It is not for nothing that the average life expectancy in our societies is closely linked to the quality of the medicine available to us. This being obvious, what we may not be aware of is that, in order for the entire healthcare system to function effectively and accurately, there is a multitude of medical equipment—devices and technology of different types—that support the work of the different healthcare professionals. Today we are going to take a look at these systems and why it is necessary to have a technology industry capable of producing them.
Nowadays, human talent, knowledge and technology make up an unbreakable working team in any sector; but the health sector has undergone a real revolution in recent years. The irruption of medical devices capable of supporting diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention tasks has meant a before and after in our quality of life. These medical devices, from simple devices such as thermometers and stethoscopes to high-tech equipment such as surgical robots and advanced imaging systems, play a key role in providing effective, high-quality medical care. To understand this, it may be necessary to take a look at what types of medical equipment exist today:
The first type of medical equipment we will look at is diagnostic equipment, which is primarily used to assess and diagnose possible diseases among patients. They play a fundamental role in supporting the diagnosis that a medical professional can make, guaranteeing that the indications are correct. Thus, we can distinguish some devices such as:
- Stethoscopes are used to listen to the sounds of the body, such as heartbeat and breathing sounds. Stethoscopes are an essential tool for diagnosing heart and lung diseases.
- Thermometers: used to measure body temperature, they are essential tools for diagnosing infections and diseases.
- Electrocardiographs (ECGs): their utility is to record the electrical activity of the heart and assess cardiac function. ECGs are a valuable tool for diagnosing heart disease.
- Computed tomography (CT) scans: used to obtain detailed images of the body by combining X-ray images. CT scans are a valuable tool for diagnosing traumatic injuries and diseases such as cancer.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): used to obtain detailed images of the body using radio waves and a magnetic field. MRI is a valuable tool for diagnosing neurological diseases, spinal cord injuries and musculoskeletal diseases.
Surgical medical equipment
The second group is none other than one of the most revolutionary in recent decades: surgical equipment. In addition to the “usual” equipment in an operating theatre, a series of technological devices have been added that have made it possible to standardise surgical operations through the use of specialised machinery. We all think of the emergence of the showy surgical robots, but they are not the only devices with these functions:
- Surgical instruments: include a wide variety of tools used during surgical procedures, such as scissors, forceps and blades.
- Anaesthesia machines: dedicated to administering general anaesthesia during surgical procedures.
- Vital signs monitors: intended to monitor the patient’s vital signs during surgical procedures, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
- Surgical robots: used to perform complex surgical procedures with extremely high precision. Surgical robots are a valuable tool in procedures such as cardiac surgery and prostate surgery.
Intensive care equipment
If diagnosing and intervening are two recognisable phases of medicine, so is patient care; especially for those who, due to their delicate situation, require intensive care. In this respect, technology also plays an important role in providing critical medical care in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) environments. These are some of the medical intensive care equipment available:
- Vital signs monitors: used to monitor the patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen saturation.
- Ventilators: used to assist patients who have difficulty breathing or who cannot breathe on their own. Ventilators are a valuable tool in ICU patient care and in the care of patients with COVID-19.
- Infusion pumps: dedicated to administer fluids and medications in a controlled manner. Infusion pumps are an essential tool in the administration of drugs in the ICU.
Laboratory equipment is an essential part of the medical machinery used in the research and diagnosis of disease. Some of the most common laboratory equipment includes:
- Microscopes: used to examine biological samples, such as cells and tissues, at microscopic level. Microscopes are an essential tool in research and disease diagnosis.
- Centrifuges: used to separate components of a biological sample, such as cells and proteins, by applying centrifugal forces. Centrifuges are an essential tool in disease research and diagnosis.
- Laboratory analysers: used to measure various biological parameters, such as blood glucose and lipid levels. Laboratory analysers are an essential tool in disease diagnosis and health monitoring.
Medical imaging equipment
Imaging equipment is an essential part of the medical machinery used to obtain images of the body for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Some of the most common imaging equipment includes:
- X-rays: used to obtain images of the body through the use of X-rays. X-rays are an essential tool in the diagnosis of bone lesions and diseases.
- Ultrasound: used to obtain images of the body using high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasounds are an essential tool in the diagnosis of heart and abdominal diseases.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans: designed to obtain detailed images of the body by injecting a radioactive material. PET scans are a valuable tool in the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer.
- Single photon emission tomography (SPECT) scans: Similar to PET scans, SPECT scans use radioactive material to obtain detailed images of the body. SPECT scans are a valuable tool in the diagnosis of neurological diseases.
Smarmec, expert in the development of electro-medicine solutions
At Smarmec we specialise in prototypes, short and medium series. As electro-medicine is a highly demanding activity in which constant demand and large investments in innovation and new products require a high capacity for adaptation, Smarmec stands as one of the agents prepared to leverage the technological transformation of the sector.
Thus, our supply capacity and our expertise and experience in product management, production and metal processing make us a relevant partner with which to develop new products applied to the health and well-being of society.
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