Datasheet Directories

Power Supplies for Medical Use

Written by Jeff Child

Compliance for Care

Over the past year, there’s been an increasing trend toward new products that have some sort of application or industry focus. That means supplies that include either certifications, special performance specs or tailored packaging intended for a specific application area such as medical.

If you look at the power supply products released over the last 12 months, there’s been a definite uptick in new products that have some sort of application or industry focus. While this hasn’t diminished the role of general-purpose power supplies, the trend has been toward supplies that include either certifications, special performance specs or tailored packaging intended for a specific application—and medical is one such application area.

Medical applications face strict regulatory requirements. Power supplies used in these applications must provide the characteristics to meet the necessary standards for medical use in a hospital or residential home (Figure 1). The worldwide ES/IEC/EN 60601-1 3rd Edition standard provides guidelines. According to RECOM, these are more stringent compared to guidelines for commercial or industrial appliances. Higher safety standards and lower electromagnetic interference (EMI) are required.

To feed the needs of medical equipment developers, power supply vendors are building medical grade DC-DC and AC-DC power supply series that provide reinforced isolation with two means of patient protection (2xMoPP), low leakage (BF and CF ratings) and other medical specific features. Reinforced isolation provides an additional level of safety beyond the standard functional isolation to comply with the medical safety standard ES/IEC/EN 60601-1 3rd Ed. The 3rd edition of IEC 60601 focuses on the safety of operating personnel and patients. To assess medical electrical equipment, a new classification system MOP (means of protection) was introduced.

The product falls into category MOPP when there will be direct physical contact between the device and the patient and then must meet extremely stringent safety standards, especially in regard to insulation. To protect patients against electric shock, such products must feature two separate insulation barriers. The closer the contact between the device and the patient, the lower the permissible leakage current. Application devices are, therefore, classified according to the type of contact with the patient.

Figure 1
Medical applications face strict regulatory requirements. Power supplies used in these applications must provide the characteristics to meet the necessary standards for medical use in a hospital or residential home.


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Former Editor-in-Chief at Circuit Cellar | Website | + posts

Jeff served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxGizmos.com and its sister publication, Circuit Cellar magazine 6/2017—3/2022. In nearly three decades of covering the embedded electronics and computing industry, Jeff has also held senior editorial positions at EE Times, Computer Design, Electronic Design, Embedded Systems Development, and COTS Journal. His knowledge spans a broad range of electronics and computing topics, including CPUs, MCUs, memory, storage, graphics, power supplies, software development, and real-time OSes.

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Power Supplies for Medical Use

by Jeff Child time to read: 2 min