Medical Connectors — What to Consider

Better medical connectors make better medical devices.

There is more to choosing a medical connector than meeting technical specifications. Your choice of a connector and cable assembly relays important information to your customer and affects the way they think about and use your device. Caton helps medical device manufacturers incorporate real-world human factors insights into connector design for better-functioning devices.

 Medical Connector

Device designers know that choosing the right medical connector can make a big difference in performance and preference. Choosing the right connector and cable can increase device durability, ease-of-use, safety, and efficiency. High quality, thoughtfully designed interconnect components play a role in improving the effectiveness and perceived value of a medical device, and can contribute to overall brand preference. Caton offers device designers and engineers years of experience choosing the best interconnect solutions. Whether modifying Caton’s standard connector platforms, or designing entirely custom connectors, cable assemblies, and handpieces, Caton offers expertise and manufacturing and testing capabilities to exceed your customer’s expectations and deliver exceptional medical interconnect solutions.

Application and end-user implications
Medical Connectors for Surgical Procedures

Understanding user experience, as with all areas of product design, is essential to developing interconnects that contribute to overall device preference and purchase. The intended users and uses of medical devices should influence interconnect design considerations. Regular users of medical devices such as surgeons, physicians, nurses, radiologists, EMTs, and technicians develop performance expectations and preferences that can provide crucial insights for product developers. While delivering the technical requirements of a device is critical, it is often the clinician’s experience using a device that influences adoption, the frequency of use, and future purchase decisions.

medical connector for dental applications
A Caton QL-Series connector designed to withstand the unique demands of dental applications

Different medical applications mandate different connector requirements. Connectors on hemodynamic and respiratory monitoring devices used in patient rooms may not require frequent mating, but cables are under the constant threat of being crushed underfoot and or beneath gurney wheels. Endoscope connectors, handpieces, and cables must be smooth, lightweight, free from friction, and easily cleanable to let doctors and nurses focus on patient care instead of equipment management. Dental applications require exceptional moisture resistance, cable management, and ergonomic performance. Patients using a growing range of home monitors, testing devices, and sleep apnea equipment want extreme ease-of-use and reassurance that devices are properly connected and functioning. Well-designed and manufactured connectors and cable assemblies can address a wide range of application-specific needs that add value by proactively addressing the user’s needs and offering an experience that goes beyond basic functionality.

Some of the best-designed interconnects are those easily forgotten.

Connectors, cable assemblies, and handpieces are often the most handled parts of a medical device. The tactile feel of interconnect components can impact a user’s perception of quality and confidence. A well-designed interconnect is something that device users almost never think about — it becomes a transparent interface between device and user. Like any great tool, a well-made medical device — or interconnect — allows the skill of the practitioner or power of the device to be relayed to the patient seamlessly. When designing interconnects for medical applications, we help clients move beyond the bounds of technical specifications through the exploration of materials, ergonomic design, and aesthetics.

Learn more about Caton’s medical connector platforms.

Caton’s QL (quick-locking plastic connector) and Icon (right-angle, low-profile connector) platforms offer out-of-the-box solutions for some applications or make the perfect launching point for custom solutions. These connectors are constructed using material science to bond polymers that insulate them from contaminants and harsh environments, as well as mechanical stress and electrical interference. A wide range of configurations are available and cable assemblies using these connector series can be made for repeated use and disposable applications.

QL series medical connector
The QL Series is configurable for mixed-signal and hybrid applications
Caton Icon series right-angle medical connector
The Icon Series is one of the lowest-profile right-angle connectors for maximum on-panel efficiency








To learn more about how Caton can help you choose the best medical interconnect for your application, please complete our contact form or call us at 781-585-4315 to speak with an experienced Caton sales engineer.