A force transducer or ‘strain gauge’ is used to convert analogue data related to force, pressure, or compression into a digital and measurable form. These transducers come in various types and sizes, and are regularly used for anything from ensuring the correct weight of cargo loads to improving autopilot functions in aircraft. Improved force transducer technology also means that end-users and researchers alike are able to gather comprehensive, real-time data to aid outcome accuracy.
Although used across multiple industries, force transducers are proving particularly valuable within the biomedical engineering field. Through the development and inclusion of force transducers in medical equipment, patients are able to administer many medical treatments themselves, thanks to force transducers’ role in accurate pressure measurement, which ensures correct drug dosages. This provides patients with the likes of chronic pain or diabetes with greater medical autonomy in safely managing their illnesses.
Force transducers are also improving how lifesaving equipment like dialysis machines operate, and are regularly used as part of medical training equipment to ensure students are ultimately able to correctly perform procedures like CPR when faced with real-world scenarios.
As robotics begin playing an ever-increasing role in surgery, force transducers are, furthermore, helping surgeons to gain more accurate force-related data when performing operations using robotic devices. This allows doctors to perform far more intricate surgeries than they could using their own hands or with the aid of older robotic technology.
Due to force transducers becoming more responsive and able to process data more accurately, their role in medical development will likely continue to increase. This is true not only with respect to the creation and improvement of existing and still-to-be-developed medical devices, but with regard to medical research, as researchers will be better able to administer and test pharmaceuticals and/or varying medical procedures, with greater assurance of accurate findings.