Choosing Power Supplies for Medical Applications

Factors to Consider When Selecting Medical Power Supplies MORNSUN's Medical Power Supply Solutions

The selection and specification of power supplies for medical applications is a task that must be approached with great care. These times, key safety and environmental standards for medical equipment are undergoing substantial changes and becoming more stringent than before. 

Compact power supplies are employed to power a wide range of medical equipment, including blood analyzers, MRI, X-ray, patient monitors, ultrasound, diagnostic equipment, and heart-lung machines, to name a few. The trend in medical equipment is to make them smaller, more lightweight, more efficient, more reliable, and safer. The safety standards for medical equipment can vary based on the intended application, proximity to patients and operators, as well as the location and environment of the equipment.

Below we will review some of the most prominent factors to consider when selecting power supplies for medical applications.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Medical Power Supplies

Medical equipment and healthcare devices require increasingly more compact, high-efficiency, reliable, and economic power supplies. While the same is true for most power supplies, medical power supplies still differ in many ways from commercial power supplies. Some of the advantages of selecting medical power supplies include but are not limited to providing higher safety, a longer design cycle, a longer life expectancy, and more. 

In particular, there are many medical power supply considerations to take when choosing new power modules for a new device or piece of equipment. Below are listed the five must-have characteristics of any quality power supply for medical applications:

  1. High reliability

The stakes are much higher for medical-grade equipment in case of any power supply malfunctions. Power supplies for medical equipment and medical devices need to be as reliable as possible. To put this into context, medical power supplies should be designed in accordance with the standards for risk management included in the IEC 60601. 

  • Extra insulation

Medical devices and equipment are meant to contact the human body directly and require extra insulation. This feature of medical-grade power supplies can protect patients and operators from electrical shock. IEC60601 is a series of widely accepted technical standards for the safety and basic performance of medical equipment issued by the International Electrotechnical Commission. According to IEC60601, medical equipment must contain at least one protective device (MOP), which can be divided into means of patient protection (MOPP) and means of operator protection (MOOP). MOP achieves through safety insulation, protective earthing, specified creepage distances, air gaps, or other protective impedance to minimize the risk of electric shock.

  • Low leakage

Tens of uA current will cause fatal damage to the human heart. Therefore, the medical power supplies require that the leakage current be low enough to guarantee the highest levels of safety for the patient and the operator. In addition, the leakage current needs to be controlled for all the B/BF/CF type medical devices. Otherwise, they could adversely affect their health. In particular, the IEC 60601 standards establish the minimum medical power supply leakage requirements to protect patients from currents that might harm their health. 

  • Compact size

Together with the advancement of medical technology, devices are becoming increasingly smaller. Portable medical devices and home medical devices are also shooting up. Medical power supplies need to keep up with the trend, resulting in the growing need for more versatile and compact power modules. Designers are faced with the challenge of selecting medical power supplies that do not sacrifice on size, power, or price. 

  • EMI susceptibility

Many medical devices using power supplies use low-level signals to operate. An example is the whole segment of patient monitoring devices. Low-level signals make the equipment more susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI is the most important content of the fourth edition of the IEC 60601 standards.

Selecting power supplies for medical equipment can feel like a daunting task. We hope that the above criteria will support your research for the most reliable medical-grade power supplies for a hospital, lab, or clinic. Engineers tasked with designing electric circuits for medical equipment should take care to choose power supplies from a reputable supplier, preferably with proven experience in the medical electronics field. MORNSUN matches these requirements while also having a good understanding of the special demands and changing standards involved in this specialized industry. 

MORNSUN’s Medical Power Supply Solutions

MORNSUN understands the challenges faced by medical device manufacturers and electrical designers. Our power modules are designed to meet these challenges and provide cost-effective solutions for use in both the hospital and non-hospital environments. 

Understanding the requirements of medical power supplies has enabled us to develop a series of DC/DC converters and AC/DC converters for a wide range of medical applications, including diagnostic devices, therapeutic devices, scientific research, and more. MORNSUN’s G_S-R3 and H_S-R3 series can provide high reliability and a high performance-price ratio. These power modules can offer a current leakage lower than 2uA with power isolation of 5000VAC. Their high performance is guaranteed by their wide temperature range (between -40° and 105°C), low isolation capacitance (5pF), and an MTBF of 19360 hours. 

Besides these power module options, the LOF series is another collection of power supplies worth considering for medical applications. The LOF series is a new series of high-power density AC/DC switching power supplies that are suitable for BF applications and conform to the medical safety standards, including 2xMOPP. 

Our power supply solutions are designed and manufactured in accordance with several quality standards in the medical industry, including EN6060-1 and ANSI/AAMI ES60601-1 (2xMOPP). Our power supplies for medical applications are also UL/IEC/EN/BS EN 62368 certified. 

Contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to receive a sample of our medical power supplies.