Walt Maclay shares his perspective on 2015 in Sean Fenske’s column “Perspectives On What’s Ahead in 2015” in the December 2014 Issue of Medical Design Technology.
“During 2015, sensors will continue to be a driving force for innovative medical devices. We will see advances in chemical sensors, especially “lab on a chip” and paper-based sensors. Driven by faster analysis time and extremely small fluid requirements, we will continue to see integration of more laboratory functions on a single chip. Additionally, we will see paper-based sensors being used in clinical diagnosis, food quality control and environmental monitoring. Fiber optic sensors, early in their adoption by industry, will continue to break new ground: since they don’t use wires and are non-conducting, they are safe to touch and you can insert them into the human body without fear of shock. Fiber optic sensors are also small (only a quarter of a millimeter in diameter) which makes them suitable for a wide variety of tasks. They are able to handle harsh environments where they can measure pressure, temperature, strain and flow depending upon how you configure them. You can also take measurements along the length of the fiber which means that you have effectively hundreds of sensors in one strand.”