Simply put, metrology is the science of measurements. Metrology plays a big role in many aspects of our lives including the healthcare sector.
There are three major categories of metrology namely; scientific, legal, and industrial. Scientific metrology lays emphasis on the creation and organization of measurement standards as well as maintenance.
Metrology and the healthcare sector
Metrology is used in different ways in the healthcare industry. Below are the different ways through which metrology is used in medicine:
1. Global recognition of measurements
Metrology is used in the standardization of measurements taken using various medical devices. It is through metrology that the results obtained by different instruments can be recognized and accepted in the global market.
The medical sector depends on calibration and verification processes to gain precision. Calibration allows the measurement of less precise instruments.
The global standardized measurements make it easy to make medical assessments on a global scale. All this is possible through metrology.
2. Conformity assessments
The healthcare industry uses different measuring devices to diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases. Because of the sensitive and important work performed by these instruments, accuracy becomes a top priority for the sake of patients.
There are international guidelines that require all healthcare systems across the world to carry out conformity assessments.
This is meant to find out the reliability of various medical devices. But there are some countries that have not been able to comply with these requirements.
It is important to comply with the international set standards in order to guarantee the safety of patients at all times. This can easily be achieved through legal metrology.
3. Data evaluation
Metrology and inspection play a critical role in ensuring quality conformity of medical equipment. The attainment of quality standards enables the detection of any deficiencies before production can commence.
Metrology provides a practical and theoretical accuracy of measurements. Considering the high levels of accuracy required in detecting certain diseases, the role of metrology in this process becomes even more important.
Miscalculation or wrong interpretation of tests in the medical world can result in catastrophic consequences. That’s why a strong grasp of metrology concepts is very important so as to leave no room for common mistakes.
4. Reduces the number of rejects
By using statistical quality control methods, metrology eliminates the need for retesting as well as minimizes the number of rejects. This ensures that medical professionals use minimal time in carrying out tests and at the same time speed up the process of getting accurate results.
Besides, metrology also reduces the cost incurred in testing and retesting –hence improving efficiency and faster diagnosis in hospitals. By ensuring that accurate results are obtained on time, metrology helps in building confidence in healthcare providers around the world.
This is another important role that metrology plays in the healthcare sector. How does metrology protect people? Metrology protects lives by providing accurate dosages and radiation measurements.
Pharmaceutical companies are able to manufacture drugs according to the international standards derived from metrological efforts. It is up to every company involved in the manufacture of medical products to ensure that they comply with the provided guidelines.
6. Non-contact inspection methods
Just like in any manufacturing sector, medical device companies are constantly looking for ways to streamline their processes as well as reduce production costs without compromising on quality. Metrology has advanced over the years and is now offering many manufactures safer and cheaper production options.
Examples of such options include blue light laser technology and white light technology. All of them use modern high-tech sensors and systems that are able to provide more than accurate results when used in medical devices.