User-interface (UI) solutions for medical devices

Custom membrane switches and graphic overlays are ideally suited to the demands of medical devices

Membrane switches and graphic overlays offer the key requirements of reliability, portability, a high degree of visibility, and cleanliness for medical devices, instrumentation, and diagnostic equipment. Applications include patient monitors, infusion pumps, X-ray machines, anesthesia controls, imaging devices, handheld systems, defibrillators, incubators, and many more.

Specific advantages of membrane switches and graphic overlays for medical devices include:

  • Cleanliness – The exterior layer of a membrane switch is easily cleaned and sanitized. The material is designed to withstand industrial cleaning chemicals. Also, antimicrobial film can be applied to further inhibit bacterial contamination.
  • Shielding – Electro-static discharge (ESD) protection can be incorporated into the design. Plus, electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) shielding layers can eliminate potential interference from ambient signals.
  • Graphics/visibility – When properly designed, indications, warning lights, LEDs and other overlay functions can be viewed from 180 degrees and at a distance. (This high visibility cannot be accomplished with a touch screen interface.)
  • Sealable exterior – The continuous single-piece nature of the exterior layer of a membrane switch combined with gaskets or perimeter sealing protects circuitry from dust, water, and chemicals.
  • RoHS compliance – Membrane switches and components can be manufactured to meet the strict standards of RoHS compliance.
  • Lightweight and compact – This is particularly important for portable medical devices.