Comment On Power Supply

MRI scans, while neat, do leave something to be desired in the “fun” and “comfort” departments. After surrendering every sliver of metal and some percentage of clothing, the patient must sit or lie stock-still in a cold room for long stretches of time. As the giant magnets do their work, ear-splitting tones and rhythmic pulses fill the room. For those who lie down to enter the giant magnet-coffin, it’s easy to feel like the Frankenstein monster in some mad scientist’s German techno experiment. [expand full text]
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Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:04 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:07 • by Gomer Pyle (unregistered)
Floating ground anyone?

captcha: causa - fire?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:08 • by Pista (unregistered)
Easy reader version: these suppliers bilk you so f...ing bad

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:20 • by Joris (unregistered)
Not really a fail.
just a 99.33333% profit margin

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:25 • by Smug Unix User (unregistered)
You can fool some of the people all the time and those are the best customers.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:28 • by Tim (unregistered)
Holy crap, that's an abomination! While I do appreciate profit margins and managerial problems, the guy who did this should be kicked in the balls repeatedly. There's cheap as in "we did the best we could" and cheap as in "I honestly don't give crap".

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:32 • by Y_F
This is so M-fricking low... someone should fry these guy's nuts!

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:37 • by Worse than /pol/ (unregistered)
397385 in reply to 397381
Joris:
Not really a fail.
just a 99.33333% profit margin

That's the free market for you.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 08:42 • by Justsomedudette (unregistered)
That's depressing beyond belief.

Captcha: pity they didn't 'suscipit' sooner.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:05 • by Occassional Medical Device Hacker (unregistered)
If it is part of an MRI machine - ESPECIALLY if it attached to the patient in any way, it has to be FDA certified. This is an extremely complicated process, but it ensures that you can use any medical device without unnecessary harm to you - in particular, for MRI devices you will need a rather good case to ensure that whatever cheapo hardware (they probably bought a few cheap stereos at the local electronics store) survives being exposed to an oscillating 1.5 T magnetic field without running any induced current through your body.
As such (and because of the huge risks/liabilities involved) such devices also have to go through very stringent quality controls.

If the manufacturer repairs the device in any way, they will have to do the entire QC again, and they might legitimately not have spare power supplies (because only one particular cheap chinese power supply ever matched the definition) or more likely they bought the supply as a black box component from a (maybe now defunct) third party vendor, so they won't touch it with a 5 foot pole so no lawyer can say they broke it.

TL;DR : This is about liability. Whoever fixed this could be in serious trouble if anything ever happens near that MRI.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:06 • by Zapp Brannigan (unregistered)
What does Evi's hospital charge a patient for an aspirin?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:07 • by FormatException (unregistered)
I know this may sound stupid but it wouldn't surprise me if the power supplies were FDA approved. That alone could account for the extra price and could potentially get the submitter in trouble if they needed to be and weren't.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:09 • by FormatException (unregistered)
"Occassional Medical Device Hacker" beat me to it. It's all about liability.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:10 • by Dewey Cheatham & Howe LLP (unregistered)
397392 in reply to 397388
Occassional Medical Device Hacker:
If it is part of an MRI machine - ESPECIALLY if it attached to the patient in any way, it has to be FDA certified. This is an extremely complicated process, but it ensures that you can use any medical device without unnecessary harm to you - in particular, for MRI devices you will need a rather good case to ensure that whatever cheapo hardware (they probably bought a few cheap stereos at the local electronics store) survives being exposed to an oscillating 1.5 T magnetic field without running any induced current through your body.
As such (and because of the huge risks/liabilities involved) such devices also have to go through very stringent quality controls.

If the manufacturer repairs the device in any way, they will have to do the entire QC again, and they might legitimately not have spare power supplies (because only one particular cheap chinese power supply ever matched the definition) or more likely they bought the supply as a black box component from a (maybe now defunct) third party vendor, so they won't touch it with a 5 foot pole so no lawyer can say they broke it.

TL;DR : This is about liability. Whoever fixed this could be in serious trouble if anything ever happens near that MRI.

Would you be interested in becoming an expert witness?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:11 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
Then again, it could be that modern cheapie power supply bricks inherently work the way that is needed. Just because it passed FDA testing doesn't mean they tried five other things that failed.

An old-school linear power supply with a big transformer might actually be problematic in an MRI environment.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:12 • by Cbuttius
These high costs are a way of increasing the expenses so as to shift the tax payments.

This has been done in the UK for a while by companies like Starbucks who therefore "avoid" paying tax here.

The money ends up at related companies often overseas where there is a far lower tax rate (or a total tax haven).

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:19 • by mark (unregistered)
397395 in reply to 397385
There is very little "free" about the market for medical equipment, and hospital services.

It is one of the most heavily regulated markets in existence.

If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious. We would also see more sane handling of liability issues and restitutions for true victims of malpractice, and thus lower liability and insuranc costs for health care providers.

This is NOT a free market.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:19 • by Jim (unregistered)
TRWTF is noisy MRI machines. I had an MRI scan in London, UK in 2003 and there was no noticeable noise. I think I even dozed off for a while. Do modern manufacturers build in noise so that they can gouge you for fancy noise-suppression systems?

WHAT?! HALF PAST THREE!

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:19 • by emaNrouY-Here (unregistered)
397397 in reply to 397382
Smug Unix User:
You can fool some of the people all the time and those are the best customers.

I do believe this is a Ferengi Rule of Acquisition. It isn't listed, though it sure sounds like one.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:21 • by emaNrouY-Here (unregistered)
397398 in reply to 397396
Jim:
TRWTF is noisy MRI machines. I had an MRI scan in London, UK in 2003 and there was no noticeable noise. I think I even dozed off for a while. Do modern manufacturers build in noise so that they can gouge you for fancy noise-suppression systems?

WHAT?! HALF PAST THREE!


Agreed. I've had LOTS of MRIs (Hodgkins Lymphoma will have you seeing a lot of MRI machines, chemicals, and radiation machines.) I've never had one that is very noisy. The only discomfort was the needle and the nasty contrast they make you drink.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:23 • by Mike (unregistered)
A medical grade device must pass the IEC 60601 test on radio frequency energy end electical safety.

For a personal computer it means that a "Medical kit" consisting in a power cord with ferrite beads and a not so crappy keyboard and mouse are sold in a box with a nice manual stating that the devices were tested to comply with the standards.

The computer and LCD monitor are exactly the same for non medical applications.

Changing a cheap chinese power supply with another cheap chinese power supply of differen make or model voids the IEC compliance tests. It's the same for UL or VDE compliance: if you change a component with onde that's different for the ceritfication, voids the certifications.






Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:37 • by TGV
397400 in reply to 397396
Jim:
TRWTF is noisy MRI machines. I had an MRI scan in London, UK in 2003 and there was no noticeable noise. I think I even dozed off for a while. Do modern manufacturers build in noise so that they can gouge you for fancy noise-suppression systems?

WHAT?! HALF PAST THREE!
The reason you dosed of was the noise. It's very repetitive, and people generally fall asleep because of it.

If I remember the physics properly, the reason an MRI machine is noisy, is because there is an alternating magnetic field interacting with the static magnetic field. That means two huge magnetic fields are attracting and repulsing each other. That's a lot of friction. Isolation adds to the distance between subject and machine.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:38 • by Charles F. (unregistered)
397401 in reply to 397395
mark:
If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious.
Then, if you got cancer you could pick which hospital would lead to you medical bankruptcy more slowly!

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:39 • by operagost
397402 in reply to 397390
FormatException:
I know this may sound stupid but it wouldn't surprise me if the power supplies were FDA approved. That alone could account for the extra price and could potentially get the submitter in trouble if they needed to be and weren't.

The enclosure is not operagost approved. I'm quite sure that the fully enclosed metal box does not provide sufficient air flow to cool them, and the box itself lacks any fins that might enable it to operate as a functional heat sink.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:40 • by operagost
397403 in reply to 397399
Mike:
A medical grade device must pass the IEC 60601 test on radio frequency energy end electical safety.

For a personal computer it means that a "Medical kit" consisting in a power cord with ferrite beads and a not so crappy keyboard and mouse are sold in a box with a nice manual stating that the devices were tested to comply with the standards.

The computer and LCD monitor are exactly the same for non medical applications.

Changing a cheap chinese power supply with another cheap chinese power supply of differen make or model voids the IEC compliance tests. It's the same for UL or VDE compliance: if you change a component with onde that's different for the ceritfication, voids the certifications.

Does it matter that the affected system is just for patient comfort, and in no way affects the function of the instrument? Oh, and I'm pretty sure a fully enclosed aluminum box is a perfectly good Faraday cage.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:44 • by Bob (unregistered)
$1,500 for a headset with no metal parts sounds like a bargain to me.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:50 • by Lazlo (unregistered)
What I don't get is how any kind of headphone at all isn't just completely wrong there. Speakers generally work by vibrating something magnetic, and anything magnetic in an MRI is going to be very bad very quickly.

So I'm really curious how this thing is made.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:57 • by Todd (unregistered)
397407 in reply to 397394
Cbuttius:
These high costs are a way of increasing the expenses so as to shift the tax payments.

This has been done in the UK for a while by companies like Starbucks who therefore "avoid" paying tax here.

The money ends up at related companies often overseas where there is a far lower tax rate (or a total tax haven).
Quite right. Those who think "yep we'll just tax the rich" don't understand how "the rich" respond to the threat of having their assets confiscated.

They move them.

1. They can afford to. They're rich.

2. They can hire lawyers and accountants. They're rich.

3. They can buy senators. They're rich.

So multinational corporations play these games where they make little to no profit in high tax countries, and shift most of their profit to low tax countries.

I suppose you could start by outlawing multinational corporations. Good luck with that. See point #3 above.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 09:57 • by flabdablet
397408 in reply to 397404
Bob:
$1,500 for a headset with no metal parts sounds like a bargain to me.


Balls. It doesn't have to be hi-fi; a simple disposable stethoscope-tube setup, such as used to come with a cheap and shitty airline seat, should not only work fine but mean (since they don't involve putting an electrical device anywhere near the patient) that the whole approvals rigmarole could be bypassed.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:00 • by Zapp Brannigan (unregistered)
397409 in reply to 397405
Lazlo:
What I don't get is how any kind of headphone at all isn't just completely wrong there. Speakers generally work by vibrating something magnetic, and anything magnetic in an MRI is going to be very bad very quickly.

So I'm really curious how this thing is made.

The old airline headsets were just hollow plastic tubes.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:03 • by Mike (unregistered)
From experience, most of these things work by having a remote speaker somewhere well away from the machine, often in another room, and the headphones connect to the speaker via a thin hollow plastic tube transmitting the sound, thus having no metal parts anywhere near the machine in question.
Because the headphones are then just a chunk of pre-formed plastic, they become cheap and disposable getting away from all the issues of cleaning ect.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:05 • by Charles F. (unregistered)
397411 in reply to 397407
Todd:
They can buy senators. They're rich.
Unless you make all political campaigns publicly-financed.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:07 • by Charles F. (unregistered)
397412 in reply to 397375
¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.
That might not be as funny as it sounds. These ratings can cost tens of thousands of dollar to acquire. What's the market for MRI-safe audio systems? How much do you need to charge for each setup in order to recover costs?

You would think that at this price-point, someone might try to compete, but perhaps the barrier of entry is too high to be worth it unless you are already in the MRI accessory business.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:13 • by Your Name (unregistered)
397413 in reply to 397395
mark:
There is very little "free" about the market for medical equipment, and hospital services.

It is one of the most heavily regulated markets in existence.

If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious. We would also see more sane handling of liability issues and restitutions for true victims of malpractice, and thus lower liability and insuranc costs for health care providers.

This is NOT a free market.



Exactly. In a free market, if I fall off my motorcycle, I would be able to take my severe lacerations, multiple fractures, and concussion to a series of different emergency care facilities, get competing estimates, and make an informed, rational decision about the provider that is providing the level of service at the price appropriate to me, (similar to choosing between motorcycle mechanics to repair the damage there!)

Because I know that I act most like the "ideal rational economic actor" when I've got a head injury and lots of blood loss.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:17 • by OldCoder (unregistered)
397414 in reply to 397410
Mike:
From experience, most of these things work by having a remote speaker somewhere well away from the machine, often in another room, and the headphones connect to the speaker via a thin hollow plastic tube transmitting the sound, thus having no metal parts anywhere near the machine in question.
Because the headphones are then just a chunk of pre-formed plastic, they become cheap and disposable getting away from all the issues of cleaning ect.

Absolutely. When I went for my MRI scans I had plastic headphones connected to tubes which went through the wall into the control booth.

I bet the "power supply" was just kicked under the operator's desk somewhere.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:17 • by Charles F. (unregistered)
397415 in reply to 397413
Your Name:
Because I know that I act most like the "ideal rational economic actor" when I've got a head injury and lots of blood loss.
Or as we call it in IT, "management material."

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:26 • by Harry S. (unregistered)
397416 in reply to 397410
Mike:
From experience, most of these things work by having a remote speaker somewhere well away from the machine, often in another room, and the headphones connect to the speaker via a thin hollow plastic tube transmitting the sound, thus having no metal parts anywhere near the machine in question.
Because the headphones are then just a chunk of pre-formed plastic, they become cheap and disposable getting away from all the issues of cleaning ect.

This is interesting because it means that if the actual speaker is away far enough from the magnetic field then the audio system's power supply is not subjected to the MRI either. The issue of certification won't arise then, will it?

There is no step 3

2012-12-18 10:30 • by @Deprecated
1 - Buy some string and styrofoam cups
2 - Assemble string telephone
4 - Sell to hospital for $500

Re: There is no step 3

2012-12-18 10:34 • by Mike (unregistered)
397418 in reply to 397417
Dude! thats like 2 way communication :o ..... should be at least $5000

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 10:39 • by Anonymous Bob (unregistered)
397419 in reply to 397401
Charles F.:
mark:
If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious.
Then, if you got cancer you could pick which hospital would lead to you medical bankruptcy more slowly!

Don't worry, Obama took care of that for you. If you can just take a number and wait in that line over there. Shouldn't take but about nine months to see the doctor....

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:05 • by Pastebreath
Like someone said, it's all about certification.
What if the manufacturer recorded the quote request?
I wouldn't want to be in the submitter's shoes should a
lawsuit involving that machine come up, given he would likely
be the one thrown under the bus.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:10 • by 3rd Ferguson (unregistered)
397421 in reply to 397395
mark:
There is very little "free" about the market for medical equipment, and hospital services.

It is one of the most heavily regulated markets in existence.

If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious. We would also see more sane handling of liability issues and restitutions for true victims of malpractice, and thus lower liability and insuranc costs for health care providers.

This is NOT a free market.


In addition to the other attacks on this stupid post, I will say that medical treatment fails one critical test of whether an exchange is even a market in the first place, free or not. Which is that buyer and seller have similar access to information about the product or service being sold. I suppose you COULD argue about the merits of the course of treatment that the doctor is advising, and you COULD get a second opinion and argue the merits of that as well. But unless you, too, are a licensed medical professional, odds are you're at a significant disadvantage in the arguments and therefore you'll end up paying for the most expensive possible service more often than you might otherwise.

Which is why the Hippocratic Oath is "First, do no (physical) harm", and is silent on the matter of totally fucking up the patient's pocketbook. Even the regulation that this stupid post cites as somehow being onerous is geared toward the Oath--protect the dumb patients at any cost--and is at best orthogonal toward any kind of cost consciousness.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:16 • by Loren Pechtel
397422 in reply to 397388
Occassional Medical Device Hacker:
If it is part of an MRI machine - ESPECIALLY if it attached to the patient in any way, it has to be FDA certified. This is an extremely complicated process, but it ensures that you can use any medical device without unnecessary harm to you - in particular, for MRI devices you will need a rather good case to ensure that whatever cheapo hardware (they probably bought a few cheap stereos at the local electronics store) survives being exposed to an oscillating 1.5 T magnetic field without running any induced current through your body.
As such (and because of the huge risks/liabilities involved) such devices also have to go through very stringent quality controls.

If the manufacturer repairs the device in any way, they will have to do the entire QC again, and they might legitimately not have spare power supplies (because only one particular cheap chinese power supply ever matched the definition) or more likely they bought the supply as a black box component from a (maybe now defunct) third party vendor, so they won't touch it with a 5 foot pole so no lawyer can say they broke it.

TL;DR : This is about liability. Whoever fixed this could be in serious trouble if anything ever happens near that MRI.


I'm sure you hit the nail on the head here.

The headset I've seen in an MRI chamber wouldn't have had any such danger--it was entirely plastic, the sound came in via a pair of tubes. I wasn't the one wearing it, I can't vouch for the sound quality.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:16 • by db2
397423 in reply to 397388
Occassional Medical Device Hacker:
If it is part of an MRI machine - ESPECIALLY if it attached to the patient in any way, it has to be FDA certified. This is an extremely complicated process, but it ensures that you can use any medical device without unnecessary harm to you - in particular, for MRI devices you will need a rather good case to ensure that whatever cheapo hardware (they probably bought a few cheap stereos at the local electronics store) survives being exposed to an oscillating 1.5 T magnetic field without running any induced current through your body.
As such (and because of the huge risks/liabilities involved) such devices also have to go through very stringent quality controls.

If the manufacturer repairs the device in any way, they will have to do the entire QC again, and they might legitimately not have spare power supplies (because only one particular cheap chinese power supply ever matched the definition) or more likely they bought the supply as a black box component from a (maybe now defunct) third party vendor, so they won't touch it with a 5 foot pole so no lawyer can say they broke it.

TL;DR : This is about liability. Whoever fixed this could be in serious trouble if anything ever happens near that MRI.


This. I sure as shit wouldn't attempt to jury rig anything medical, and certainly not something used in an MRI scenario.

Granted, I'd feel safe rigging something minor like this for use on myself, but when there are other patients and lawsuits at stake, nope.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:19 • by Geoff (unregistered)
397424 in reply to 397383
Remember though, we have to kill that medical device maker tax because if we don't it will cripple the sector.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:24 • by WPFWTF (unregistered)
397425 in reply to 397385
Worse than /pol/:
Joris:
Not really a fail.
just a 99.33333% profit margin

That's the free market for you.


Easy to blame the "free" market.

No, that's stupid consumers for you. It would happen even without a free market.

So, in essence we should have government-mandated health care to afford the exceedingly high cost of hospital management stupidity.

That's TRWTF.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:26 • by Y_F
397426 in reply to 397401
Charles F.:
mark:
If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious.
Then, if you got cancer you could pick which hospital would lead to you medical bankruptcy more slowly!

Only if you live in the US, where hospitals will milk you to the bone, and toss you through a window when you have no money left.

At least if you lived in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba, you'd have at least a chance of free care!

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:28 • by Karonar (unregistered)
The case is indeed the most important part of this unit. MRI scanners are exceptionally sensitive to external magnetic fields and RF interference, and are literally contained within Faraday cages. The amount of tweaking to get good images out of one would put an audiophile to shame.

Sure, sticking cheap Chinese supplies in it is something of a WTF, but all those facetious comments about the case being special are, in fact, absolutely correct.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:32 • by WPFWTF (unregistered)
397429 in reply to 397421
3rd Ferguson:


Medical treatment fails one critical test of whether an exchange is even a market in the first place, free or not. Which is that buyer and seller have similar access to information about the product or service being sold. But unless you, too, are a licensed medical professional, odds are you're at a significant disadvantage in the arguments and therefore you'll end up paying for the most expensive possible service more often than you might otherwise.


So, what do I do when I go to buy a vacuum cleaner. I'm not an electrician, so I can possibly have similar access to information. I suppose I could ask an electrician, and that has its merits, but it's not equal access to information.

I could ask that society accept that we should all be educated in electricity and fans, and such, so that we'll all have equal access to information, but that's not a good idea at all.

No, let's go ask for a third opinion from so called "public expert electricians" because the government oath is to "Do no harm" but that's mentioned nothing of the consumers pocketbook, so we can tax the hell out of them for it as well. And we'll mandate it to, so we'll have a government monopoly on equal access to information.

But that's nothing like the "free market", so it's guaranteed to work.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 11:38 • by Y_F
397430 in reply to 397419
Anonymous Bob:
Charles F.:
mark:
If we had a true free market for medical care, patients would be cost-conscious, and therefore hospitals would be cost-conscious.
Then, if you got cancer you could pick which hospital would lead to you medical bankruptcy more slowly!

Don't worry, Obama took care of that for you. If you can just take a number and wait in that line over there. Shouldn't take but about nine months to see the doctor....

Don't worry, you can take care of yourself. If you can just open your wallet and not faint when you look at the value. Shouldn't take but about nine years to pay the bills...
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