The market for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used as pressure sensors in medical electronics is likely to grow by 7 percent this year, aided by the use of disposable devices as well as respiratory monitoring, according to iSuppli, El Segundo, CA, a global leader in technology value chain research and advisory services, now part of IHS.

Their report says revenue for pressure sensors in medical electronics applications will reach $137.6 million in 2012, and growth will be steady over the next few years, with revenue projected to reach $186.7 million by 2016.

For medical applications, the technology for MEMS pressure sensors requires expertise in making accurate low-pressure measurement devices, used for invasive and non-invasive applications alike. The most common medical pressure sensor is the disposable catheter, used to monitor blood pressure during surgery. Another disposable application for MEMS pressure sensors is the infusion pump — a device that introduces fluids, medication or nutrients into a patient’s circulatory system. Use of this type of pressure sensor amounted to well over 60 million units in 2011.

After disposables, respiratory monitoring is the next biggest earner for medical pressure sensing. While the number of pressure devices that ship is much lower in this category than in disposables, millions of respiratory-treatment-related machines are sold yearly, and the sensors are significantly more expensive than disposables. Also included in respiratory monitoring is oxygen therapy, which administers or increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. Ventilators make up another separate market for pressure sensors.