Updated: November 20th, 2019

Guidelines for the effective selection of medical connectors

By Tom Kannally, product specialist/applications engineer, Contact Technologies, Smiths Interconnect

Choosing the Right Interconnect Systems for Medical Device Designs

Medical devices, such as patient monitors, imaging systems, electrophysiology catheters, and other diagnostic and therapeutic systems, require dependable connectivity and accurate signal transmission. Equipment for the medical market must be designed to eliminate the potential for failure or loss of functionality. Interconnects are especially vulnerable because they are often employed in some of the most exposed areas of the system, with the potential for damage due to environmental factors or misuse. In the medical sphere, there are many factors to consider when selecting connectors to ensure maximum performance and reliability over the expected life of the device.

Proper Mating

The potential for mating connectors that don’t belong together is a safety risk in many medical applications. System developers can build in safeguards by using an appropriate form of color-coding to provide a visual indication of a correct match between a plug and receptacle.

Color-coding systems often have to be decided when the connectors are purchased from the supplier because the color is an unchangeable feature of the plastic housing. However, some connectors offer greater flexibility. For example, receptacle and plug color-coding can sometimes be attributed through the use of interchangeable and differently colored silicone rings and strain reliefs incorporated d