Sonographers are increasingly demanding smaller, lighter and more flexible devices to work more efficiently and to reduce repetitive strain injuries. Vitaliy Epshteyn, CTO and senior director of global engineering and portfolio management, TE Medical, introduces some groundbreaking new additions to his company’s lineup.

Imaging and ultrasound technology is driven by clinicians’ need for smaller and more flexible devices. Consider the sonographer, for whom manipulating probes and taking images from different angles all day can be extremely tiring. The demand here is for a cable that is limp, flexible and light enough to prevent those repetitive-strain-related injuries. TE Medical has pioneered these types of innovations to develop custom products that deliver on OEMs’ big ideas.

"The trend is towards miniaturisation, in order to minimise patient trauma and reduce the time spent in the hospital," says Vitaliy Epshteyn, the company’s CTO and senior director of global engineering and portfolio management. "The demand is for packing just as much, or even more, into smaller spaces. TE Medical’s ultrasound business recently introduced technology that made cables much smaller, lighter, and more flexible, without sacrificing image quality."

The latest medical innovations in imaging and ultrasound focus on the physical size of devices and the amounts of data required for delivering high-resolution imaging. To these ends, TE Medical introduced three key products in 2015.

Hasaki 38P connector

The Hasaki 38 position connector is a small device (comparable to a USB in size) developed for use with handheld ultrasound systems, or other portable, point-of-care (PoC) medical devices. The Hasaki connector has been available for commercial use since the start of this year.

The 38 position system comprises a plug and receptacle. The former connects to a cable and transducer; the latter resides in the handheld ultrasound device. The mated connector conducts electrical signals between the transducer and handheld ultrasound systems, or other medical devices.

The Hasaki 38P provides best-in-class contact density, relative to its small form. This enables the delivery of high-resolution ultrasound imaging portable units for PoC use.

The connector has a high contact count, while meeting a 10K mate-de-mate specification, and has high-speed digital signal capability. No other connector of this size provides as many contacts.

Comfort EX cable

The Comfort EX coaxial cable is a breakthrough design that exploits new materials to deliver industry-leading flexibility, limpness and weight, which allows for superior ergonomics without sacrificing image performance. Comfort EX, which was made available for ultrasound use in late 2014, conducts electrical signals between devices with controlled impedance for high signal integrity, and its unique design, makes the cable lighter and more flexible overall.

Its design requires less material than traditional coax, making the Comfort EX 40% lighter than conventional cables, placing sonographers at lower risk of long-term, repetitive-motion injuries.

MP 456P connector

The MP 456P is a high-density, interposer-based connector for use in high-end, cart-based ultrasound systems. The design enables high-definition ultrasound images for medical diagnostic applications.

Available for commercial use in 2015, the MP 456P has a plug that connects to a cable and transducer, while its receptacle side features a safety latching feature that locks the plug in place while in use and protects users from exposure to electrical contacts. The mated connector conducts electrical signals between the transducer and ultrasound system.

"Ultrasound requires a lot of electrical channels, so hundreds of small wires needed to be integrated into a connection that was still flexible and light," says Epshteyn.

The MP 456 has a higher contact count (456 vs 408) than anything currently available. The 20K mate-de-mate cycles exceeds the maximum 10K achieved by competitors. The connector system is one third of the cost of the existing connector system it was designed to replace.

TE Medical can help enable the disruptive shift to digital ultrasound probes with hybrid, high-bandwidth cables, high-mate hybrid connectors and thermal management. The company also provides expertise in fine wire and fine pitch termination, to match micro-miniature coaxial cable options.

The company designs and manufactures connectors and components to work in harsh medical environments, withstanding vibration, liquids and sterilisation processes. It leads the way in innovation and collaboration, learning customers’ needs and goals, listening to ideas, and developing transformative solutions to the most challenging design and engineering problems. Its areas of expertise are:

  • custom connector design
  • custom PCB/PCBA
  • full probe assembly.

The benefits of working with TE Medical include:

  • application engineering
  • high-density connectors and cables
  • FDA-registered facilities
  • a range of cost-effective, integrated products
  • in-house flex testing to provide long-term durability.

Customised solutions

With TE, you get more than just a components supplier. You get an integrated solutions partner who can develop your idea from design to prototype to manufacturing and assembly. The value we provide helps you compete, including:

  • engineering expertise: early design collaboration takes you from concept to production, and more
  • extensive manufacturing capabilities: we create components or fully functional devices where and when you want, including contract manufacturing
  • global footprint: get better responsiveness and access to emerging markets
  • focus on the end user: we design for ergonomics, small spaces, high speed, high performance and
  • reliable connectivity.

TE designs and manufactures connectors and components to work in harsh medical environments – withstanding vibration, liquids and sterilisation processes. It leads the way in innovation and collaboration, learning your company’s needs and goals, listening to your ideas and developing transformative solutions to your most challenging problems. Need to future-proof your device? It will build next-generation technology capabilities into precision components, assemblies, and devices to help your products transition into the future.

TE Connectivity

Parent company, TE Connectivity, meanwhile, designs and manufactures engineered connectors, sensors and electronic components, and devices across multiple industries. Its engineers collaborate well together, sharing technological expertise across industries and functions, meaning that ideas from one industry are often used to innovate in another.

For TE Medical customers, this breadth of knowledge and creativity results in integrated solutions that are time-saving and cost-efficient, and often ahead of market trends.