High-power LEDs provide illumination and treatment in medical applications

Aug. 24, 2006
An enormous range of medical applications, from surgical illumination to photodynamic therapy, can benefit from the advantages offered by LED light sources.
The medical market has traditionally been an avid adopter of photonic technologies, from the use of laser sources for surgical and cosmetic applications to the more traditional use of specialized illumination sources for surgery or examination.

The medical market places stringent requirements on the designer of medical devices with particular emphasis on the safety of the patient and operator. LED light sources are a safer and lower cost source of light and, with recent advances, LEDs are well placed to replace other high power light sources for many medical applications.

The use of light in the treatment of medical and cosmetic conditions is a rapidly growing segment of the treatment markets. Light can be used for both active treatment, with or without a drug, and also for sensing or diagnosis of medical conditions such as tumor detection. Treatments associated with the skin (dermatology) and cosmetic treatments are billion-dollar worldwide markets.

With the advent of ultra-violet and white LED light sources there are a growing number of opportunities in the use of LEDs for medical and dental lighting systems incorporating visible light and diagnostic elements such as UV fluorescence.


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