What is Medical Fiber Optics and How Is It Improving the Healthcare Facilities?
Posted by Ajinkya on March 12th, 2021
Fiber optics (optical fiber) is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing plastic or glass to a diameter slightly thicker than a human hair. Fiber optics are used to translate light signals over long distances. Many medical instruments use fiber optics for various applications, such as image transfer, illumination, and laser signal delivery. Medical fiber optics applications include surgical microscopy, endoscopy, instrumentation, diagnostic, ophthalmic lasers, light therapy, dental handpieces, and X-ray imaging. Different types of fibers are used such polymer optical, polycrystalline fiber, and a pure silica fiber. Medical fiber optics are used in specialty clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, research organizations, diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, etc.
Medical fiber optics is a type of optoelectronic technology that uses light to transmit light, rather than electrical signals. Medical fiber optics are made from optical fibers, which is a wafer-like material made up of two or more fibers that can be twisted together like a rope. Fiber optics transmit light in a highly effective manner, greatly increasing the light transmission efficiency for various applications. It also makes possible the utilization of wider wavelengths, which increase the possibility of enhancing vision for the user. Medical fiber optics are used for many different applications that include telecommunications, optical fiber networking, military communications, and computer networking. It is anticipated to experience significant market growth in the coming decade due to its versatile features and its many applications.
The most common and important uses of fiber optics in medicine are mostly in the light and visual sections of endoscopes used in the examination of the abdomen, chest, and neck regions. Rigid and flexible fibers composed of graded-high index lenses and step-cut fibers are used for image enhancement and detection of small and large organs that are available through naturally unbroken openings in the human body. These tools are also employed to evaluate the state of the patient's lung capacity to determine the efficiency of various lung volumes and capacities, in addition to other body parts.
Currently, medical fiber optics uses different types of fibers depending on the application. For example, flexible and semi-flexible fibers are usually used for single-use applications, such as in applications concerning chest x-ray, abdominal CT scan, mammography, and small size mammography. Large and extra-large fibers are used for more extended time frames, such as those covering the abdomen, chest, pelvis, and head/neck areas. Moreover, it is also possible to use small-sized fibers inside and around the eye to acquire clear vision during emergency cases, such as to acquire images of the brain, spinal cord, and skull of patients involved in car crash accidents. With these and more, it becomes important to understand the importance and advantages of this tool for proper utilization.
In general fiber optics has great potential in many fields, including in the fields of illumination and image enhancement, diagnosis and treatment of internal diseases, and visualization of the body at different ages. For instance, with the aid of high-speed and high-quality optical fibers, physicians can acquire clear images of the brain during brain scans of children to diagnose any probable diseases. Moreover, it is possible to view the internal organs of the human body from a wider angle since internal organs do not have as thick layers as external organs to reduce the magnification effect of the optical fibers. Such advantages have made internal medical imaging more popular. Moreover, it has become much easier to use medical fiber optics to obtain clear images of the inner parts of the body for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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About the AuthorAjinkya
Joined: January 6th, 2021
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