Reed switches and Reed sensors in Pacemakers
Artificial pacemakers are implantable devices that generate electrical impulses to the heart, to contract the muscles and regulate the heart rate as required. The primary purpose of a pacemaker is to maintain an adequate rate, either because the heart’s natural pacemaker is not fast enough, or because there is a block in the heart’s electrical conductive system.
As an implanted device, there is a need for it to be externally programmable, for a cardiologist to select the desired rate of pacing for individual patients. In addition to this, certain models of pacemakers also allow the individual to set either a slow and fast pace for use in normal situations or during brisk walking, for example. Such mode changing requires an external wand with an embedded magnet, with an extremely small reed sensor or reed switch within the pacemaker. This way the magnet in the wand actuates the reed switch within the implant in the body, and cycles it through the desired modes.
Applications are classified as Position Sensing, Pulse Counting, Electromagnetic or Relay, Temperature Sensing or Magnet Biasing types. This application is classified as follows and the link gives more information on best practices to help select the most suitable AT band and matching magnet.
The Reed Switches and Sensors used in such applications need to be robust, durable and efficient in meeting a high life expectancy. Our engineers work hard in life testing our products under various conditions, and our intention is to ensure end product durability and life. Although we wouldn’t want to restrict any of our products for use in only certain applications, the recommended products for use in this application are listed below.