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January 2016 • The PCB Magazine 15 that many fabricators would not be comfortable with." Although there are no industry standards or specifications governing this, the customers each have their own very stringent systems and methods to ensure that they get reliable prod- ucts into the field. "The brand impact of failure in a medical product could be astronomical," explained Rich Clemente, general manager for Lenthor Engineering. "Stryker sent their people to en- camp onsite during the [Lenthor] move to the new facilities and ensure that everything fol- lowed procedure." This is a very unique rela- tionship between a supplier and a customer but is critical if you consider a simple calcula- tion that based on the number of surgical tools produced and the average service-life, Stryker products are likely used in close to 10,000 sur- geries per day. The next major segment seeing medical electronics advances are the areas of skin con- tact, body fluid contact and implantable devic- es. In the printed electronics arena, a longtime favorite market has been the blood glucose test strips which are used daily by millions of pa- tients. The disposable strips combine hydro- phyllic polyester substrates with silver conduc- tive inks to measure blood sugar and are manu- factured by companies like GSI Technologies (Figure 5). GSI CTO Gordon Smith also points out that "GSI is in a good position in the medi- cal device market, producing electrodes for in vitro diagnostic strips for glucose, cholesterol and other tests." Another popular printed elec- tronics application are the EKG pads used in automatic external defibrillator devices which are commonly printed with carbon inks on adhesive pads and are produced by companies like Medtronic and Vermed. ROBOTS, WEARABLES AND IMPLANTED DEVICES IN THE AGE OF BIONIC HEALTH Figure 3: stryker cranial mapping and surgery system. Figure 4: assembly department at lenthor engineering. Figure 5: Various glucose test strips. Feature

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