We’re surrounded by wireless technology; WiFi and Bluetooth are prime examples. The development of wireless charging technology will no doubt revolutionise the way we interact with devices again. The global wireless charging market is growing steadily. It was worth $3.2 billion in 2018, and it’s expected to grow to $40.2 billion by 2027. It has penetrated different sectors, from mobile phones to robotics, all the way to medical devices – where it’s been particularly game-changing.
Wireless charging technology is being embedded today into both implantable devices and small, external devices. The technology lets medical professionals introduce a power source outside the body to transfer power to an implanted device wirelessly. Wireless charging technology designed for medical devices can also be used for wearables and other small devices. This comes at a time when people are more reliant on wearables, too. After facing one of the worst pandemics, immunocompromised persons and the elderly were discouraged from in-person contact. As a result, many have turned to medical devices to ensure that they receive consistent medical care and monitoring.
Cable-Bound vs. Wireless Charging
For devices like mobile phones and other electronics, wireless charging is often led by convenience and is a nice touch for the end-user experience. However, in the medical field, it can be the difference between life and death. While cable-bound charging relies on physical connections to transmit power from a source to a device, wireless charging uses inductive, resonance (both based on magnetic induction) or, radiofrequency. Most wireless chargers out on the market use inductive coupling. This requires coils from the transmitter device and the receiver device to be in close proximity. Similarly to what you commonly see in wireless mobile phone chargers. Similar to inductive coupling, Resonance uses the principles of magnetic induction but enables more freedom of positioning at the expense of using an external radio for communication. Radiofrequency may also be leveraged for wireless charging in the medical sector. Radio charging serves ultra-low-power devices with built-in batteries, such as medical implants and hearing aids.
Benefits for Patient Care
Implantable medical devices face several challenges. For one, they include huge batteries, resulting in a bulky device – this poses restrictions to the body. What’s more, these devices have limited battery life which means that they need to be replaced regularly. This puts the patient at more risk of further surgical operations, infections, inconvenience, and more.
Wireless charging would allow these implanted devices to stay longer in the body as they can be recharged externally. Indeed, it eliminates the need for changing batteries. Not only that, by leveraging wireless charging medical devices can be miniaturized; they wouldn’t need to store too much energy and for external devices, they become much more portable and easy to live with. In the future, the technology might also open up the potential for electronic therapy. Doctors may embed receptors into specific body parts and induce treatment using electromagnetic waves from an external wireless power source.
Powermat Wireless Charging Technology for Medical Devices
Wireless charging solutions need to be as dependable as the medical devices themselves. Wireless charging expert Powermat has well-designed wireless solutions that enable users to charge personal medical devices and implants (up to 300W) efficiently, conveniently, and safely. Powermat’s low-frequency Smartinductive technology leverages the best of both magnetic induction and resonant wireless charging technology and is designed specifically for reducing the cost of manufacturing & deployment.
By leveraging Powermat’s solution for IoMT, Patients will no longer need to undergo complicated invasive surgeries just to recharge their implant batteries, avoid complications and prevent related infections.
Powermat also lets medical teams work in a cable-free environment. Numerous medical devices such as surgical carts, glucose meters, and other handheld medical devices are tethered to the wall by wires. This can become a potential hazard and a hurdle in delivering ace medical care, but wireless power & charging allows greater mobility for these devices by removing socket dependency altogether.
Wireless charging technology in the medical field is still fairly new yet it’s already proving to be very beneficial. It has a promising future ahead, not only because of the exponential growth of the wireless charging market. One day, wireless charging capabilities may even become a standard in medical devices.
Written by Lilian Harvey for powermat.com