Functional Disposable Endoscopes Mechanics & The Voice of Customer

Functional Disposable Endoscopes Mechanics & The Voice of Customer

3 Dec 20214 min readMike Anderson
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In our previous blog posts, we've explored camera sensors for endoscopes and various lighting methods. Let us dive into the mechanical components that transform individual endoscope parts into a fully functional medical camera assembly.

Historically, medical endoscopes have been reusable. However, as the disposable medical camera market evolves, and medical robotic imaging becomes more commonplace, the components and sub-components associated with endoscopes are progressing and improving.

For instance, we're witnessing remarkable advancements in camera cubes. Those once housed in 1mm x 1mm square shells with 400 x 400 resolution are now shrinking to .63mm x .63mm housings, while 720 x 720 resolution camera cubes are taking their place in the 1mm x 1mm square shell size.

The opportunity here is to translate the voice of the customer from a theoretical concept into a functional, user-friendly, and ultimately beneficial disposable endoscope or another medical device.

Voice of Customer: Crafting User-Centric Design

Voice of Customer (VoC) represents how customers want a device to fit in their hand, where they want their fingers to engage with actuating components, and what they expect the overall device to feel like. This must align with the functional limitations of the components hidden beneath the handle's surface.

Articulating or Steerable Tip: Innovations in Articulation

Designing an articulating distal end tip offers various methods, from soft material-driven to hydraulic pressure-driven catheters. Engineers continually push boundaries, creating new means of articulation. Magnetics, for instance, extend possibilities in articulation and manipulation.

To start, consider the desired functionality: Do you need 90°, 180°, or 270° deflection? What degrees of freedom are required (left-right, up-down, rotational, forward-backward)? Will you have a central lumen?

These factors guide your choice of tip functionality and manipulation method.

Pull Wire / Tendon Driven: Achieving Articulation

Once you have designated your articulation method, you must actuate the segment. Pull cables or tendon-driven mechanisms are commonly used. You can have one to four tendons, driving singular, dual, or quad articulation, providing more movement options with additional tendons.

Design considerations include tendon spacing, location, backbone shape, tension, and torque. The use case greatly influences device design and geometry. Consider whether or not your endoscope will have a working channel, as this affects central lumen size and overall device design.

Where Internal Meets External: Creating a Seamless Interface

After designing the distal end articulation and connecting tendons, you must drive the functionality of both internal and external components. This interface is the handle, where the internal mechanics meet the operator's control.

Your challenge is harmonizing the voice of the customer with the functional limitations of the concealed components. Early integration of customer preferences in the design process ensures the final device aligns with their desires.

In conclusion, the journey from component to functional medical camera assembly is meticulous. By understanding the voice of the customer, choosing the proper articulation method, and harmonizing internal and external functionality, you can create medical devices that meet user demands and provide a seamless and reliable experience. It's time to turn these insights into action and bring innovative medical devices to life.

Ready to bring disposable endoscopes and other medical devices to life, tailored precisely to your customers' needs? Let's merge your Voice of Customer insights with our expertise at ATL Technology. Connect with us using the form below, and together we will create cutting-edge, user-centric medical device solutions.


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