Printed circuit boards have become critically important in the medical field.

As technology has advanced, more and more medical diagnostic, research and treatment methods have become computerised — causing PCBs for medical equipment to become a standard requirement throughout the industry.

So, how are medical PCBs currently being utilised — and what does the future hold for them?

The core component of modern medical devices

These days, printed circuit boards play a significant role in the function of many different medical devices — including their use in a variety of important cardiovascular equipment such as heart monitors, implanted defibrillators and pacemakers.

For example, a flexible PCB is used in a pacemaker to help monitor heart activity so that doctors can decide when a shock needs to be applied to restart a heartbeat. Typically composed of polyimide (PI) and polyester (PET) films, flexible PCBs allow for strategic placement at the edges and corners of pacemakers — and can even be folded or creased around two corners to ensure it sits comfortably and safely within the device.

Flexible PCBs are the perfect solution for small medical devices like pacemakers, since they are highly temperature-resistance — able to withstand temperatures of up to 400 C — and are shock and moisture-proof.

Medical devices such as blood glucose monitors, on the other hand, require specialised PCBs that house various electronic components responsible for measuring and analysing blood glucose levels.

Not only does the PCB ensure a secure and reliable connection between the device’s sensor and monitoring system, but it also includes analogue and digital components to process its raw sensor data and guarantee accurate blood glucose readings.

Some blood glucose monitor PCBs even offer connectivity options like Bluetooth or USB, enabling users to transfer data to other devices, such as smartphones or computers for further analysis and tracking.

From a more diagnostic perspective, printed circuit boards are also essential to several different types of imaging systems — with MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasonic equipment reliant on PCBs to perform routine medical procedures safely and effectively.

Future trends in medical PCBs

It is evident that modern PCBs are the backbone of efficient, reliable and operative medical devices. However, the evolving needs of healthcare technology are continuing to drive the exploration and implementation of cutting-edge advancements in PCB design…


The demand for portability and non-intrusiveness drives further miniaturisation of medical devices.

Advanced manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing and flexible PCBs, will enable the creation of smaller yet more powerful PCBs — paving the way for implantable devices and wearables with enhanced functionalities.

High-frequency PCBs

Advancements in medical imaging technologies mean PCBs of the future must be capable of handling higher frequencies for improved signal processing and enhanced imaging.

The introduction of specialised high-frequency materials and designs will support the evolving needs of imaging modalities such as 5G-enabled MRI machines, ensuring higher resolution and faster image acquisition.

Flexible and stretchable PCBs

Stretchable electronics combine silicon-based computer circuits with flexible substrates, which can move without impacting the functionality of the circuitry. In their simplest form, the familiar components of a PCB are placed on or embedded in an elastomer.

With a surge in demand for flexible and stretchable electronics to accommodate the growing popularity of wearable health devices, the propelled development of PCBs with flexible substrates is needed — allowing for conformal integration into clothing or directly onto the skin.

Internet of things (IoT) integration

In 2024 and beyond, medical device manufacturers will see a growing emphasis on interconnected healthcare ecosystems and IoT for comprehensive patient monitoring and data analytics.

Thanks to the increasing integration of communication modules and sensors into PCB designs, product manufacturers can create seamless connectivity and data exchange between medical devices — leading to enhanced remote patient monitoring and personalised healthcare solutions.

Sustainable device design

The growing awareness of sustainability and energy efficiency in medical devices is set to encourage the implementation of energy-harvesting technologies and the use of eco-friendly materials in PCB manufacturing.

For example, as the manufacturing sector pushes towards sustainability whilst maintaining industry standards, it is becoming common practice to include recyclable materials, such as copper and aluminium, into PCB design. Since PCB manufacturers can utilise these materials repeatedly, the hope is that demand for new resources will subside.

At EC Electronics, we are well-versed in manufacturing PCB assemblies, cable assemblies and electronics box builds for use in instruments across a range of scientific instrumentation and medical device applications. Get in touch with our friendly team at 01256 461894 or email to discuss your requirements today!