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5 tips on how to pick the right battery for medical devices

27 Mar 2015  | Neil Oliver

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Medical device designers should think carefully about their device's power budget when running on battery power and then factor in the effect of battery aging, ambient temperature before deciding on a battery energy rating. If space is at a premium and long runtime is required then hot-swappable batteries may be considered to lengthen the operation of a medical device.

4. Get Certified

Medical devices that are certified to IEC60601-1 must have their batteries certified to IEC62133, which is a safety standard for portable batteries. If the product is to be sold in the U.S., then the FDA also recommend batteries are certified to another safety standard, UL2054.

For batteries using Lithium ion cell technology then mandatory transportation testing must be performed to provide the battery is safe for transport. A good battery integrator will manage this certification process seamlessly, ensuring worldwide market compliance.

5. Ensure it is reliable and safe

Without the battery, any portable medical device becomes an expensive liability. It is the battery that is the heart of machine and it must work when needed and never pose a risk to its environment.

A good battery integrator will ensure the battery contains 'nested' layers of safety that include its cell selection, mechanical design, passive protection and active electronic protection elements. Battery integrators that are certified to ISO13485 have the expertise and processes in place to ensure risk assessments, design reviews and performance verification is conducted diligently and thoroughly.

Although this movie presents a highly unlikely scenario, it's not impossible. And, of course, if all the tips above had been followed there would not have been a movie but it certainly provides us with things to think about to prevent a similar scenario. OEMs and medical practitioners would be wise to give a second thought to the backup power in their portable devices.

So how did the movie end? In the end, it wasn't all doom and gloom. Despite the subpar medical equipment, baby Abigail, fittingly named after her mother, pulls through and wakes up just as the storm passes... a happy ending naturally.

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