PCB design has wide-reaching applications across many sectors and industries. The development and creation of electronic devices would be almost impossible without the ability to design functioning circuit boards that control the flow of current.

Such advancements in PCB design technology have had important implications for sectors such as healthcare, as we discuss below.

What is PCB design?

PCB design is the process of designing and modelling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for integration into electronic devices, systems and networks. This software is used in the development process from end to end, helping to devise initial schematics, advance circuit board designs and assist with the translation to physical manifestation.

The process has optimised the development process significantly, allowing electronic engineers to streamline design stages through the use of digital frameworks. With less time and money needed, circuit board configurations can go from initial schematics to product-ready in a fraction of the time. Crucially, in sectors such as healthcare and medicine, this has helped to introduce lifesaving and care-boosting advancements quicker than imagined.

Where are PCBs used in medical settings?

Medical technology is vastly applied across society, from hospital equipment to wearable health tech and much more. PCBs are central to the functioning of these devices and have been instrumental in the development of the following technologies:

  • Imaging machines – Diagnosing health conditions has become a lot easier with the incredible imaging technology that doctors can now rely on. MRI machines, ultrasound scanners and other types consist of multiple circuit boards that connect all the components.
  • Pacemakers – These devices have given new life to people with heart failure. Tiny PCBs pull the strings in these devices to ensure that they spring into action when required and not at any other time. Reliability is a must and PCB design helps to ensure these devices can be trusted.
  • Wearable medical devices – Technology has started to bring expert medical analysis directly to the patient with wearable health techs such as blood pressure and glucose level monitors. PCBS allow several tiny components to work together in a device that can go wherever the wearer goes.
  • Defibrillators – Delivering a controlled shock to the heart must be done accurately and reliably, or the consequences could be fatal. In a defibrillator, the circuit board helps to maintain the current when needed and prevent over-charging. Without these components, defibrillators wouldn’t be able to save as many lives as they do. 

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