Customized Medical Cables: All You Need To know

The world around us is going wireless, yet the demand for wires hasn’t decreased. Wireless technology is still not as effective as wiring, so cable is still very commonly used in the medical field.

So, are medical cables different from generic cables, and is it a good idea to choose customized cables?

This article will answer all medical cable questions while highlighting the difference between generic and customized medical cables.

Customized medical Cables 1

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Chapter 1: What are Medical Cables?

Customized medical Cables 2

Medical cables, as the name suggests, are cables that we use in the medical industry to:

  • Connect two or more pieces of equipment or devices.
  • Transfer fluids to and from the patient.
  • Power up equipment and tools, etc.

Technically, they do the same thing as generic cables, but they are not the same. Also, some cables are exclusive to the medical industry and are not used in any other industry.

More About Medical Cable Standards

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Since the medical industry deals with lives and humans, there is little tolerance for errors. That is why it is essential to be careful about medical cables.

Standards and requirements cover the manufacturing process and the use of medical wires in the industry.

The Standard in Manufacturing:

 There are specific design criteria that all institutions must follow. It dictates the use of particular cables and not generic cables.

Manufacturers and packaging companies need to follow the highest level of hygiene to ensure there is no risk.

A common standard is ANSI/AAMI EC53. It addresses ECG leads and cables mainly, but many companies use it as a base to produce other medicable wires due to a lack of a global standard.

The ANSI/AAMI standard ensures safety and reliability for cable specifications. The primary purpose of the standard was to prevent lead from coming into contact with a power source.

It makes cable management and transportation more accessible and covers environmental, testing, mechanical, and electrical concerns.

Chapter 2: What’s the Difference Between Generic and Customized Cables?

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Generic cables, as the name suggests, are generic. They are not made for a specific industry and serve various purposes in different industries.

For example, a power cord used to power a CPU can power up some other appliances, too. Similarly, a mobile phone charger used to charge an Android device may even support PS4 controllers.

However, such is not the case when it comes to medical cables. They serve specific purposes. For example, a wire for an ECG machine cannot power up other appliances, even if it fits the socket.

It is because the cable only supports ECG machines. Medical appliances are susceptible. Voltage fluctuations and other issues can lead to wrong readings and equipment malfunction.

You must be very careful because a difference of even a 0.1 point in reading can change the output and put the patient at a higher risk.

Chapter 3: Why Do Some People Still Use Generic Cables in the Medical Industry?

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One of the primary reasons some people use generic cables in the medical industry is the difference in cost.

Generic cables are cheaper than medical cables. However, they are still a lousy substitute and may even cost you more in the long run.

Think of all the risks associated with using generic cables:

  • You will get the wrong results, which may risk the patient’s life.
  • The patient or their family may sue you for incorrect reports.
  • Using generic cables may cause the equipment to malfunction. Hence, you will have to foot the bill for repairs and, in some cases, a replacement.

• You may lose your license since there are standards that hospitals and medical institutions must follow. Failure to follow the required standards may result in fines and other problems.

• If a wire is not made for a specific purpose, it will not be able to hold on for long. Hence, you will require replacement more often, adding to the cost.

All in all, it’s not worth it. That is why we suggest you only stick to medical cables and avoid generic cables.

The initial cost may be higher, but it will save you money in the long run.

Can I Use Generic Cables in Place of Medical Cables?

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In some scarce scenarios, it may be acceptable to use generic cables in place of medical wires. However, in most cases, it can be hazardous to do so.

It is because when it comes to medical cables, it is a matter of life and death. It would be best if you never risked someone’s health to save a few dollars.

When Is It Safe to Use Generic Cables?

It is safe to use generic cables only when they do not need to meet specific medical requirements. Moreover, you may use generic cables if you only use them internally in the device.

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Chapter 4: Why Do I Need Custom Medical Cables?

Custom medical cables

We discussed the importance of custom medical cables and why it may be a good idea to opt for them in one of our previous blog posts.

The fact is that medical cables are readily available. You can get some off the shelf. However, the demand for customer medical cables is still rising due to the many benefits.

Custom medical cables are best for cases where you have unique requirements. Cables may not suit all users off the shelf as they are not made to cater to specific needs, quality, or appearance-related.

That is why, in some cases, you may have no option but to choose custom cables.

Chapter 5: Medical Cables and Sterilization

medical sterilization

There are a variety of sterilization techniques. — They include e-beams, autoclaves, and chemicals. Different companies use different technologies, depending on the application.

Sterilization is an essential part of the medical assembly. Poorly sterilized tools can be risky, so discussing your requirements with the manufacturer is best.

So that you only get cables that are suitable for your use.

Not all medical cables need to go through the process, though.

Chapter 6: Reusable Cables or Disposable Cables?

Disposable vs reusable wires

You can choose between reusable and disposable cables. They both have their pros and cons.

Reusable cables serve a longer purpose and are more durable. At the same time, disposable cables are useless after a single use.

Disposable cables are more affordable than reusable cables. Since they run for a short period and do not have to undergo sterilization, most manufacturers use comparatively cheaper materials like PVC to manufacture them.

On the other hand, reusable medical cables are more durable and expensive since companies use more expensive materials to build them.

That is important because reusable wires must be able to handle the sterilization process. Otherwise, they will not be of much use.

Customized medical Cables–Biocompatible Cables

Patient in medical wires

Disposable vs reusable wires

You must only use biocompatible cables if the cable comes into physical contact with the patient. Plus, in some cases, there may also be requirements regarding using specific colors.

It is best to speak to your provider about your requirements to get precisely what you need.

Chapter 7: Medical Device Wiring – Is There a Difference?

Medical device wiring

Customized medical Cables–Medical device wiring

Yes, medical wires mainly differ from generic wiring used in homes or other industries.

Monitoring and sensing devices are changing with time. They are not as big as they once were. Plus, wireless technology is also making jobs easier but processes more complicated.

The monitoring devices of today have different requirements. They work best with flexible, small gauge, and lightweight wires that are easy to manage and use.

Rigid cables do not stay healthy for a long time, which is why manufacturers are working on producing more flexible wires.

However, the real difficulty lies in manufacturing wires while meeting all other standards and medical requirements.

Customized medical Cables–Conclusion

Do not make the mistake of turning to generic cables to save a few dollars. Such cables are not made for use in the medical industry and can cause you much damage.

Choose over-the-counter medical cables or opt for custom medical cables to ensure safety. Contact us today to speak to us. At Cloom, we offer a variety of medical cables and answer all your questions.

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Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

Reach me at [email protected] to get a quote for your projects.


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