5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Medical Power Supply

When shopping for a medical PSU, especially a PC-powered medical device, the more questions you ask, the better. Taking the time to fully understand and evaluate different power supply units and how their features and materials may or may not be suited to your needs, can save money, and development time down the line. Don’t make a costly mistake – ask these five questions before buying a medical power supply. 

Does the wattage of the medical PSU match my needs? 

It’s not a bad idea to have some wiggle room for wattage – we tend to recommend 800-watt medical PSUs for customers whose needs are around 600-watts to be safe. However, most customers and wattage calculators greatly overestimate the needs for their medical PC devices. It’s not unusual for people to come in thinking they need a higher wattage than what is necessary. 

If you’re running an embedded application with a graphics-intensive system, chances are you’ll want our 800-watt unit. However, if you’re powering a microATX medical application, you’d be set with our 175-watt unit. We can help you find the right power supply for your device, whatever the wattage. 

Am I mistaking wattage for quality?

Power is important, but it’s not the only thing to consider. RAM Technologies does offer medical device PC power supplies that boast a higher wattage than competitors – while other companies go up to 700 watts, our units go up to 800 – but that additional power doesn’t mean as much without high-quality materials and commitments to support it. 

RAM Technologies produces medical PSUs with the highest quality components, and whatever up-to-the-minute technology is available during the time of development. Our unique MultiLoop Technology decreases the heat stress on components while simultaneously improving the demonstrated mean time between failures (MTBF) to 1 million hours (500,000 hours minimum) and over 8 years of expected life. Released in 2022, the 650-watt SFX power supply contains silicon carbide (SiC) technology, which also improves reliability and cuts down on stress loading. 

Don’t just look at wattage when you’re shopping for a medical power supply unit. Think about the quality of the unit as a whole. Consider the materials used, MTBF results, and whether the unit will be available through the complete lifecycle of your product. 

Is this designed for medical devices, or is that designation an afterthought? 

If you’re looking for a medical device PC power supply, finding one that’s medical-grade instead of a unit that works for medical but is commercially available makes a big difference. 

Medical and commercial power supplies ascribe to different standards. While a medical power supply needs to meet strict medical and electrical standards to be used in medical devices, commercial power supplies don’t need to meet as many. Medical power supplies are required to work reliably for 10+ years in a medical device, whereas commercial power supplies last about 3-5 years on average. 

There’s also a difference between general medical PSUs and ones that specialize in PC power supply. Standard medical PSUs generally output on one voltage only. Our medical PC PSUs, on the other hand, output at 12V, 5V, & 3.3V, offering you the versatility you need. 

What happens if you need customized output cables for your medical PSU? No other companies offer 12-volt or 5-volt barrel jack customizations, but RAM Technologies can accommodate these requests and other cable customization. It’s another way we put your PC-based medical device needs at the forefront. 

Will it meet my compliance needs? 

Commercial power supplies also don’t have to meet strict compliance needs for medical devices. All of our medical PSUs are compliant with: 

  • EN 60601-1
  • EN61000
  • EN55011

They are also ATX 3.0 compliant and meet 2 x MOPP (Means of Patient Protection). Our product pages include more detailed information on the compliance of our units. 

Will it last for the life of my devices?

Will your power supply unit still be available for purchase when you’re trying to make your medical device in 8 years? The product life for a commercial power supply is 12-24 months on average, meaning you run the risk of losing a crucial component even a couple of years after you first create your medical device. 

Medical power supplies abide by an 8-10 year commitment, at minimum, to keep producing the same model. RAM Technologies produces new medical PC PSUs every 4-6 years, and we’re still selling the first unit we made 26 years ago today. 

Asking these questions will help you better determine which medical PSU is right for you. Have any more questions? We can help. Contact us to get matched with your perfect medical PSU.

 

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RAM Technologies’ power supplies are 60601-1 certified and meet 60601-1-2 EMC standards.  Contact us for details.

More Resources:

Why Buy a Medical PSU from RAM Technologies? 

Three Items to Look for In Your Medical Device Components

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