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With constant evolution in the tech world, wireless charging has become an evident part of our lives, and it seems like it’s branching into the medical industry. It has already revolutionized and replaced the wires and plugs to how Bluetooth and Wi-Fi changed personal communication. Wireless charging and inductive coupling deploys electromagnetic field, which transmits energy to the receiver and has become an apt way of charging medical devices.
Understanding Wireless Charging
Wireless charging is defined as the concept where a device’s battery is charged up with the help of wireless charges. Back in 2014, around fifty million wireless chargers were sold, and the latest smartphones are being designed with in-built wireless charging capacity. However, when it comes down to the medical field, the researchers have found a way to utilize wireless charging for the implantable medical devices.
With these wireless configurations and designs, the credit card-sized power source is held on human’s body to transfer electric charges to the medical device, such as the size of rice grain. The idea of implantable medical devices operating from power with wireless charging is quite mesmerizing. For instance, the pacemakers can be made smaller and used on a lifelong basis, but with the latest technology, devices are being launched for body tissue and deep brain stimulation.
In addition to this, the doctors having the power of treating illnesses and diseases with electronic therapy has become a profound choice as compared to drug prescriptions. The electrical treatment is known to be more effective since it targets a specific part of the brain while drugs affect the entire body. The ultimate key to this medical advancement is the strength and power of electromagnetic fields, and that’s where wireless charging technology comes into play.
That’s to say because, with wireless charging, the electricity will be induced in the coupled coils in the implant with the help of electromagnetic waves. In fact, this technology creates waves in the frequency spectrum, particularly the near-field spectrum. However, these near-field waves tend to decay quicker and don’t reach the small medical devices unless there are large coils attached. On the other hand, they are quite effective for hearing implants, including smaller embedded devices.
As far as the far-field waves are concerned, they have the capacity of traveling over farther distances but don’t seem fit for tissue application. For this purpose, the researchers have designed the in-between technology with which the wireless devices can be integrated into the human body without interacting with tissues (they have created the pacemaker with the power harvesting coils and microchip, which can be implemented everywhere inside the body and doesn’t need a battery).
However, it’s not approved for wide-scale human use because it needs to be made more efficient and safe. That being said, it needs years before these medical devices are commercialized and widely adopted.
As the world is awaiting a new form of powering and charging, wireless charging has propelled the advancement in the medical device industry. So, let’s keep the finger crossed and wait further!