Custom or Off-The Shelf Medical Connector Design Path

When designing a new device, one of the decisions that medical device makers are faced with is choosing a connector and mating receptacle. For some applications, a standard, or off-the-shelf connector, is a viable option. For other applications, a custom or hybrid connector may be more appropriate..

Reasons why a device manufacturer may consider a custom medical connector instead of an off-the-shelf connector are:

A unique design is required to assure that only a specific cable or connector can be mated to the device
The shape of the connector needs to match the profile of the device
A variety of signal types must be carried within a single connector (high voltage, low voltage, high bandwidth, data, thermocouple)
An off-the-shelf connector is may not meet the cost target
Custom logo or markings on the connector are desired or required
Lead-time for an off-the-shelf connectors may be unacceptably long
Safety may be enhanced by designing a custom connector. Unique pin-to-socket patterns or connector shape can prevent mating by incompatible connectors thereby enhancing safety.

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