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 17:15 • by rfoxmich (unregistered)
..and $1490 for knowing what supply to send.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 17:16 • by UK MP (unregistered)
397484 in reply to 397459
Double E:
Y_F:
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!


Except, of course, it's not "free". It's just that somebody else paid for it. Unless doctors and nurses in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba are paid with unicorn farts.
Holy Shyte, they're onto us....

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 17:18 • by John (unregistered)
IF each of the 3 power supplies were UL approved, does putting them in a different enclosure keep that guarantee?

I think your legal team should be going after whatever "company" did this.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 17:27 • by WPFWTF (unregistered)
397486 in reply to 397479
kbiel:
3rd Ferguson:
WPFWTF:
3rd Ferguson:


Medical treatment fails one critical test of whether an exchange is even a market in the first place... Which is that buyer and seller have similar access to information about the product or service being sold.


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...


This is also a stupid post. I invite you to compare and contrast your exposure to death and bankruptcy when shopping for a vacuum cleaner with that of obtaining, say, cancer treatment. Is your vacuum decision revokable, by, say, returning it to the store? How about your oncologist's decision to blast you with radiation? What are the consequences of NOT obtaining a vacuum cleaner? Compare with those of NOT seeking cancer treatment? Is there time pressure in one case but not the other? What amount of training would be required to become a knowledgeable consumer of vacuum cleaners versus cancer treatments? Are there other steps required before purchasing a vacuum cleaner such as diagnosis or triage that might also require post-graduate training? Compare the costs in time, materials and money for training in cancer diagnosis and treatment with those of an associate-level degree in a consumer electronics-related field.


So, shopping for an oncologist or a pediatrician or a podiatrist or a cardiologist should never be done the same way you would, say, for a vacuum cleaner or a carpet cleaning service or a flooring installer? You should just go to the nearest (government approved) doctor and not learn anything about their reputation, success rate (for a given procedure or course of treatment), bedside manner, or price? Having places like this is horrible right? It would be even worse if there were multiple such companies competing against each other on price, reputation, and services offered, right? All very bad, I'm sure, we should just switch off our brains when it comes to health care and let the experts (and politicians) handle it.


Fear is a great motivator. That's why we're even having this discussion.

When I buy a product, I don't risk death for buying it, and I don't risk death for not buying it. So we don't feel entitled to consumer safety against retail products. That's where product testing, and government agencies come in and ensure something's safe. However that fails, some product is flawed, an infant is injured in a car-seat. There's a lawsuit. Government cracks down. etc etc.

But wait, the guarantee wasn't fulfilled. An infant was injured. What do we do? Let the government replace the car-seat manufacturers, and make car-seat production a public entity?

We learn by reputation. We avoid companies that fail. There are no life guarantees, and we move on.

We aren't too stupid to learn what to avoid. I'm not having my second child in Hospital X because they charge more for less service. The only way I know this is because a significant chunk of change was out of pocket.

So, say this. Go the other way.

Get rid of co-pays on insurance. Take the average price, and give the best discount on the average price, and give less discounts on doctor's that charge more. Encourage shopping around.

The highest medical costs don't come from immediate need treatment. They come from treatments in which the consumer has time to make decisions. End of life, life-long complications, etc.

Give co-pays for emergency need, so people aren't wiped out because they fell off their bike.

But when there's time to think, give flexing discounts.

Let the market fix itself.

The problem is that insurance is an artificial buffer that's ruining the market. More insurance will just widen the buffer and increase costs.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 17:27 • by Valued Service (unregistered)
kbiel:
3rd Ferguson:
WPFWTF:
3rd Ferguson:


Medical treatment fails one critical test of whether an exchange is even a market in the first place... Which is that buyer and seller have similar access to information about the product or service being sold.


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...


This is also a stupid post. I invite you to compare and contrast your exposure to death and bankruptcy when shopping for a vacuum cleaner with that of obtaining, say, cancer treatment. Is your vacuum decision revokable, by, say, returning it to the store? How about your oncologist's decision to blast you with radiation? What are the consequences of NOT obtaining a vacuum cleaner? Compare with those of NOT seeking cancer treatment? Is there time pressure in one case but not the other? What amount of training would be required to become a knowledgeable consumer of vacuum cleaners versus cancer treatments? Are there other steps required before purchasing a vacuum cleaner such as diagnosis or triage that might also require post-graduate training? Compare the costs in time, materials and money for training in cancer diagnosis and treatment with those of an associate-level degree in a consumer electronics-related field.


So, shopping for an oncologist or a pediatrician or a podiatrist or a cardiologist should never be done the same way you would, say, for a vacuum cleaner or a carpet cleaning service or a flooring installer? You should just go to the nearest (government approved) doctor and not learn anything about their reputation, success rate (for a given procedure or course of treatment), bedside manner, or price? Having places like this is horrible right? It would be even worse if there were multiple such companies competing against each other on price, reputation, and services offered, right? All very bad, I'm sure, we should just switch off our brains when it comes to health care and let the experts (and politicians) handle it.


Fear is a great motivator. That's why we're even having this discussion.

When I buy a product, I don't risk death for buying it, and I don't risk death for not buying it. So we don't feel entitled to consumer safety against retail products. That's where product testing, and government agencies come in and ensure something's safe. However that fails, some product is flawed, an infant is injured in a car-seat. There's a lawsuit. Government cracks down. etc etc.

But wait, the guarantee wasn't fulfilled. An infant was injured. What do we do? Let the government replace the car-seat manufacturers, and make car-seat production a public entity?

We learn by reputation. We avoid companies that fail. There are no life guarantees, and we move on.

We aren't too stupid to learn what to avoid. I'm not having my second child in Hospital X because they charge more for less service. The only way I know this is because a significant chunk of change was out of pocket.

So, say this. Go the other way.

Get rid of co-pays on insurance. Take the average price, and give the best discount on the average price, and give less discounts on doctor's that charge more. Encourage shopping around.

The highest medical costs don't come from immediate need treatment. They come from treatments in which the consumer has time to make decisions. End of life, life-long complications, etc.

Give co-pays for emergency need, so people aren't wiped out because they fell off their bike.

But when there's time to think, give flexing discounts.

Let the market fix itself.

The problem is that insurance is an artificial buffer that's ruining the market. More insurance will just widen the buffer and increase costs.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 18:13 • by Meep (unregistered)
397490 in reply to 397413
Your Name:
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.


You didn't buy your insurance policy ahead of time? You couldn't review alternate providers?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 18:18 • by Rhywden
397491 in reply to 397490
Meep:
Your Name:
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.


You didn't buy your insurance policy ahead of time? You couldn't review alternate providers?

Do you actually check what your local hospitals conditions are for a wide range of medical emergency conditions? Like, how do they deal with anaphylactic shock, heart conditions, stroke, brain injuries, broken bones, bullet wounds, lacerations and so on and so forth.

Okay, so let's say you did all that.

And now you're on a visit to the relatives 400 miles from your home.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 18:27 • by HowItWorks (unregistered)
397492 in reply to 397474
AN AMAZING CODER:
As everyone pointed out, I immediately thought "The price is so high because of certification processes...duh" when I read about the price. Then as soon as I read the "WTF", I thought "As silly as the product might look, fixing that in house is a bigger WTF".

I'm super happy that so many others thought of this immediately as well.

Surprisingly, no comment has yet mentioned the additional BIGGER WTF of posting the fix on a public site. For the OP sake, hope this occured in the past and the fix has been replaced.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 19:37 • by Coyne
397494 in reply to 397413
Your Name:
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.


Wimp. ;-)

Seriously, people who ignore this are annoying. In fact the only people more annoying are those who maintain that,"We don't need Medicare, because you can go to any emergency room for free." Ignoring, of course, that Medicare is the reason you don't have to show cash at arrival, right on that barrelhead, prior to service.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 20:04 • by Cat
397495 in reply to 397492
HowItWorks:
AN AMAZING CODER:
As everyone pointed out, I immediately thought "The price is so high because of certification processes...duh" when I read about the price. Then as soon as I read the "WTF", I thought "As silly as the product might look, fixing that in house is a bigger WTF".

I'm super happy that so many others thought of this immediately as well.

Surprisingly, no comment has yet mentioned the additional BIGGER WTF of posting the fix on a public site. For the OP sake, hope this occured in the past and the fix has been replaced.


Yeah, let's hope this was taken out of service quickly. Honestly, it's a bit of a wonder it worked at all. Those "cheap" power supplies had to all be designed and tested to work in environments with high induced currents from the large static and dynamic magnetic fields of an MRI. I'm guessing that is also the reason for separate power supplies for each rail.

So you save $1500 for the hospital - and how many millions of dollars of liability did you open them up to as a result if there was an injury? A big part of the reason for standards and testing is limiting the liability in case there is an incident.

Hell, even without injury, say a fire starts as a result of the induced currents in the power supply. Even if nobody is hurt, at a minimum there will be an emergency quench of the magnet if there's a fire in the room - there's a few thousand dollars down the hole right there minimum, plus the machine is unusable until it can be serviced and any damage caused by the quench identified and repaired.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 20:04 • by Earp (unregistered)
397496 in reply to 397477
This has nothing to do with America specifically, similar rules apply to many (most?) non 3rd world countries.

There is a reason medical devices are certified. I agree with the other posters, the tech made a mistake trying to work on this himself.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 20:14 • by Cat
397497 in reply to 397494
Coyne:

Seriously, people who ignore this are annoying. In fact the only people more annoying are those who maintain that,"We don't need Medicare, because you can go to any emergency room for free." Ignoring, of course, that Medicare is the reason you don't have to show cash at arrival, right on that barrelhead, prior to service.


It's not Medicare that is responsible, it's EMTALA. If you are unable to pay, the hospital eats the loss; government mandates that they stabilize you but doesn't pay them to do so.

The "ED is free" people are also overlooking another key point, though - EMTALA requires them to stabilize you so that you're not in immediate danger. After that, their obligation ends. Say you have a heart attack - they will stabilize you and give you medication during the episode. It won't get you the continued medications you need to avoid the next heart attack. It certainly won't get you an angioplasty or a coronary bypass or any other surgical intervention. You're on your own for long-term care, they just help in the short term.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 20:38 • by iusto (unregistered)
397498 in reply to 397459
Double E:
Y_F:
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!


Except, of course, it's not "free". It's just that somebody else paid for it. Unless doctors and nurses in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba are paid with unicorn farts.

True. They still manage to pay less than the US in total and have a higher life expectancy though.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 22:09 • by Matthew (unregistered)
397500 in reply to 397473
Mason Wheeler:


Hmm. My brother has a titanium plate in his leg, left over from a fracture when he was in his teens. What would happen if he needed an MRI?


The plate has a serial number, your brother has some documentation giving the serial number and the manufacturer. (Or if he's lost it, it's on file with the hospital who installed it.) If there's any doubt about whether the plate is MRI-safe, the MR technician will look it up or call the manufacturer. I work with MRI for research (though I'm not the technician) and we scan people with plates and screws all the time, we just have to be sure.

To the people who said they weren't noisy, you should try highfield imaging of your head. Nobody is allowed in our MR room without industrial earmuffs. (Nobody much is allowed in the room or the adjoining console room anyway, because idiot researchers keep touching things, forgetting about their car keys, or invading the privacy of participants who often have to strip and wear a gown -- bra underwires are not MRI-safe!) We have to be really cunning to do auditory perception research when there's a bloody great thump every time we take an image.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-18 22:18 • by Maverick (unregistered)
That's nothing. A client's Dexa machine (used for measuring bone density) stopped communicating with the control PC. The company came out and looked at it, and said it needed a $3000 "communication board", and since it was old and out of warranty, would take at least a week to get the part. As an IT tech I was a bit skeptical what kind of proprietary device this could have been, so I had the tech show me. It was a 4 port 10Mbps no name brand hub. We had much better switches in the trash. Free fix and the service company lost them as a client.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 00:08 • by zdfxh (unregistered)
397504 in reply to 397496
Earp:
This has nothing to do with America specifically, similar rules apply to many (most?) non 3rd world countries.

There is a reason medical devices are certified. I agree with the other posters, the tech made a mistake trying to work on this himself.
Thanks for clearing that up. Is a headset a medical device, then?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 00:58 • by Cat
397506 in reply to 397504
zdfxh:
Thanks for clearing that up. Is a headset a medical device, then?


Any electronics that are intended to operate within an MRI room need to be certified and have special protection against the induced voltages and currents from the RF magnetic fields. Depending on geometry, proximity, and circuitry you could see transient voltage spikes of anywhere from tens of volts to tens of thousands of volts. Your average run of the mill electronics simply aren't designed to operate in that environment, and it would not be safe to try to use them there. Even if the device doesn't immediately fail, it greatly reduces its lifespan and can fail catastrophically when it does go.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 02:39 • by Gunslinger (unregistered)
397508 in reply to 397413
Your Name:
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.


Don't be a dumbass. Medical care and emergency care are two different animals. Conflating the two just makes your argument null and void.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 03:52 • by Sean (unregistered)
I hope this isn't NHS hospitals being fleeced

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 04:22 • by roger Wolff (unregistered)
397510 in reply to 397473
[quote user="Mason Wheeler"][quote user="Occassional Medical Device Hacker"]Hmm. My brother has a titanium plate in his leg, left over from a fracture when he was in his teens. What would happen if he needed an MRI?[/quote]The problem is with (para)magnetic items. Those get attracted to the strong magnetic field in the magnet. Dangerous!

Secondly I think there is a smaller problem with conductive metals. They distort the measurements. You might get artifacts in the measurements from metals. The parts of the machine can be filtered out, but new metallic objects are best avoided.

The thing is, titanium barely conducts. He'd better tell the experts if he does need an MRI, but I think they just shove him in the machine, knowing it won't be a problem.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 05:02 • by Santa (unregistered)
Thats some hackjob.
If an item is approved as safe to use, it only means under certain conditions.
Just because you can do it, does not mean its the best thing to do or it should be done!

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 05:50 • by Symbiatch (unregistered)
Just a side note, as a radiographer. There is no reason for the MRI room to be cold. Ours is very nice 23 degrees Centigrade and we do have blankets if people need them. Also, "the giant magnets" are not doing work since there is only one "giant magnet" which is quite static. The gradients are dynamic and "do the work."

Just to nitpick ;)

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 08:34 • by Catprog (unregistered)
397532 in reply to 397434
Herr Otto Flick:
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....


TRWTF is that Americans already spend more per capita on healthcare in taxes than the entirely state funded healthcare UK, French, Swedish, Swiss, German... [fill in rest of countries in the world]. Even the rich prefer it, as their 'expensive private care' is significantly cheaper than in the US (and most people have no need to bother, since the state provided healthcare is more than adequate).


I have seen graphs that put the American government spending more then the public+private combined of other countries.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 10:29 • by chris (unregistered)
397581 in reply to 397459
Double E:
Y_F:
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!


Except, of course, it's not "free". It's just that somebody else paid for it. Unless doctors and nurses in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba are paid with unicorn farts.

Sure, it's paid for by everyone, in advance. Personally I still think that the winners are the ones who pay for treatment and then *don't* need it, rather than the ones who pay for it and then do.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 10:54 • by Unicorn #2816 (unregistered)
397584 in reply to 397411
Charles F.:
Todd:
They can buy senators. They're rich.
Unless you make all political campaigns publicly-financed.
Ha. You think it's the campaign donations that "buy" congress-critters.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 11:41 • by Paul Neumann (unregistered)
397592 in reply to 397439
Mason Wheeler:
... At every level, civilization is built entirely on principles of implicit trust and trustworthiness. Therefore, a principle like caveat emptor that glorifies distrust and untrustworthiness is a barbaric principle, one that promotes barbarism rather than civilization.
What's wrong with barbars? I trust my barbar with sharp objects near my body every month. I'm not certain why you should find barbars to be untrustworthy.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 11:54 • by Valued Service (unregistered)
397598 in reply to 397491
Rhywden:
Meep:
Your Name:
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.


You didn't buy your insurance policy ahead of time? You couldn't review alternate providers?

Do you actually check what your local hospitals conditions are for a wide range of medical emergency conditions? Like, how do they deal with anaphylactic shock, heart conditions, stroke, brain injuries, broken bones, bullet wounds, lacerations and so on and so forth.

Okay, so let's say you did all that.

And now you're on a visit to the relatives 400 miles from your home.


Seems like we need to invest more time into our health and wellbeing instead of just relying on others and crossing our fingers.

Do you check the operations and conditions of mechanics to determine which to tow to in case your vehicle fails on the highway and you're required by law to remove it ASAP? AAA recommends you do that ahead of time.

Let's say you're on a visit to relatives 400 miles from your home.

Do you check the operations and conditions of mechanics there and on the way there?

Maybe you should start doing that.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 13:48 • by DWalker59
397616 in reply to 397439
Mason Wheeler:
+1. This is why Libertarian notions of caveat emptor are ridiculous and harmful to society. In order to prevent information asymmetry from screwing him over every time, it requires the emptor to be an expert in the field of every single thing he ever tries to empt!

This goes against one of the most fundamental principles of civilization: specialization. Civilization evolves and grows as people become experts in one special field, to the point where others are able to trust their judgment and leave that area to them, instead of having to worry about it themselves. It allows us as a society to do more and bigger things.

It starts with dedicated farmers who produce surpluses of food large enough to feed everyone else, freeing them to dedicate themselves to other pursuits, and builds up from there. (Imagine where we'd be if we didn't have dedicated automotive technicians, electrical engineers, civil engineers, or electronics designers and programmers!)

At every level, civilization is built entirely on principles of implicit trust and trustworthiness. Therefore, a principle like caveat emptor that glorifies distrust and untrustworthiness is a barbaric principle, one that promotes barbarism rather than civilization.


Wow, that was very well said! Can I quote you to a couple of my friends?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 17:14 • by smxlong (unregistered)
Let me get this straight, you made unauthorized modifications (using parts bought off Amazon) to a device that works in close proximity to an MRI? You do realize that the correct functioning of the MRI is a matter of life and death, do you not? And that the $1500 price tag for the power supply is not to cover the materials it is made from but the testing required to demonstrate that it won't disrupt the functioning of the MRI and possibly lead to somebody's death?

You nonchalantly altered a MEDICAL DEVICE. If anybody is ever hurt as a result, you should be imprisoned for a LONG time.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-19 22:19 • by Anon (unregistered)
397660 in reply to 397638
AN AMAZING CODER:


As everyone pointed out, I immediately thought "The price is so high because of certification processes...duh" when I read about the price. Then as soon as I read the "WTF", I thought "As silly as the product might look, fixing that in house is a bigger WTF".

I'm super happy that so many others thought of this immediately as well.


smxlong:
Let me get this straight, you made unauthorized modifications (using parts bought off Amazon) to a device that works in close proximity to an MRI? You do realize that the correct functioning of the MRI is a matter of life and death, do you not? And that the $1500 price tag for the power supply is not to cover the materials it is made from but the testing required to demonstrate that it won't disrupt the functioning of the MRI and possibly lead to somebody's death?

You nonchalantly altered a MEDICAL DEVICE. If anybody is ever hurt as a result, you should be imprisoned for a LONG time.


I don't get it. It has already been established that the headset is entirely plastic, and the sound is transmitted via a hollow plastic tube. So there is no reason for the power supply to be anywhere near the MRI. So who cares if/how it has been certified?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 04:12 • by Stieg (unregistered)
397681 in reply to 397383
Actually, he did give crap.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 05:34 • by Paul (unregistered)
Surely the power supply HAS to be a long way from the MRI making all the objections void.

The headphones HAVE to be plastic tubes. They can't even be piezo crystals (rather than the more common magnetic coils) because that would still need conductive wires going to them. Even if the conductive wires are non-magnetic (eg aluminium or copper) then you can (and probably will) still get induced currents in them, which could potentially be dangerous.

So, given that the noise generating gubbins has to be away from the MRI. That would mean that the power supply has to be away from the MRI.

Also, even if the case of the power supply is an excellent Faraday cage, the power leads going into and coming out of it are outside of that cage, so subject to magnetic induction.

So we have a PSU a long way from the MRI, going to a sound generating gubbins, a long way from an MRI, with plastic tubes going to the patient.

How can ANYTHING that goes wrong with the PSU cause injury to the patient? It could make the sound go dodgy I suppose, but given that the patient is lying inside something with the noise output of a jet engine, that would be the least of their worries

The only part of this which logically needs to be medically certified is the plastic tubes. But, I suppose this is a government agency thing, so logic doesn't come into it.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 09:31 • by Foo (unregistered)
397708 in reply to 397403
operagost:
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.


it affects the function of the instrument if they're really cheap chinese PSUs, and catch fire.

captcha: jugis: what I was having scanned in the MRI machine.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 09:37 • by Foo (unregistered)
397712 in reply to 397459
Double E:
Y_F:
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!


Except, of course, it's not "free". It's just that somebody else paid for it. Unless doctors and nurses in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba are paid with unicorn farts.


Unicorn farts is actually what the NHS is paid for with.

Opps, Sorry, I meant Quantitive Easing... or is that the same thing?

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 09:42 • by Foo (unregistered)
397714 in reply to 397498
iusto:
Double E:

Except, of course, it's not "free". It's just that somebody else paid for it. Unless doctors and nurses in the UK, France, or even Brazil or Cuba are paid with unicorn farts.

True. They still manage to pay less than the US in total and have a higher life expectancy though.


This is because we don't think 10lb burgers constitute a light meal.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 09:45 • by Foo (unregistered)
397715 in reply to 397592
Paul Neumann:
Mason Wheeler:
... At every level, civilization is built entirely on principles of implicit trust and trustworthiness. Therefore, a principle like caveat emptor that glorifies distrust and untrustworthiness is a barbaric principle, one that promotes barbarism rather than civilization.
What's wrong with barbars? I trust my barbar with sharp objects near my body every month. I'm not certain why you should find barbars to be untrustworthy.


Sweeney and Todd.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-20 17:13 • by anonamouse (unregistered)
397763 in reply to 397405
If I designed it, I'd do something pneumatic. I'd connect two diaphragms through a length of flexible tubing. Put one diaphragm in the headset, the other in a Faraday cage with a speaker.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-21 06:35 • by munufacturing (unregistered)
That's why they couldn't fix it: they got it on the lowest quote from China, and never even looked inside before.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-23 20:18 • by RogerX (unregistered)
397898 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.


Gotta love forum trolls who post "That's the free market for you" about pricey products in heavily regulated and/or monopolistic industries.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-24 00:28 • by The Submitter (unregistered)
Hi,

The submitter of this post here. To clear some issues up:
- This device (nor our MRI) is medical grade. The MRI is FDA approved, the headsets and none of the other additions we have (built) aren't because it doesn't need to be. We do have PhD's and review boards that work and sign off on everything that we build that goes inside the scanner room.

- There is a common misconception that the FDA needs to approve on anything that touches patients. That is simply not true. The FDA only cares if there are things medical radiation or medication dispensed by a device. Stethoscopes aren't FDA approved, fire extinguishers or MR-safe equipment, blankets etc isn't either. The scanner does dispense radiation (electromagnetic which could cause burns) so that and some of it's controls are FDA approved but it shouldn't make you feel any safer, the FDA is very lax and basically relies on the manufacturer to not lie to them, the FDA doesn't even see or inspect the device. That is why you'll never see Siemens or Philips or GE directly submit anything to the FDA (from a legal viewpoint). A shill company does that and then disappears as soon as the process has been completed.

- I do have a degree in electronics engineering and regularly help design custom things for MRI environments. Safety and liability issues are part of what I do.

- The headphones are not the pneumatic ones. Those are cheap. These are the electrostatic type headphones. Very cheap to make in principal but they require 1kV to drive the headphones. Thus this power supply is NOT to drive the head phones, this is to drive the (very noisy) amplifier and the communication between the headphone inductor and the controls which communicate over fiber optics so there is no direct electric link between this thing and the subject.

- This thing doesn't go INSIDE the scanner room. The power for the unit inside the MRI room goes through a filter panel which is also electrically isolated so as not to have noise from outside or inside go through and affect the signals. The room is isolated with thick metal walls (a Faraday cage).

- This thing it sits in is just an aluminum box. The manufacturer has since started shipping power supplies with air holes but doesn't replace items it already sold (and are inherently defective).

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-27 10:04 • by toshir0
398028 in reply to 397898
RogerX:
Worse than /pol/:
Joris:
Not really a fail.
just a 99.33333% profit margin

That's the free market for you.


Gotta love forum trolls who post "That's the free market for you" about pricey products in heavily regulated and/or monopolistic industries.
That's the free Interwebs for you.

And to you all people bitching against "health market" being bad because of regulation... health is *not* a product. Stop seeing everything through your consumer's eye.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-27 14:33 • by Joe (unregistered)
398055 in reply to 397375
The original poster really ought to publish the name of the vendor.. There is nothing libelous to be afraid of.

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-27 22:31 • by NotHere
398086 in reply to 397476
AN AMAZING CODER:
NotHere:
Power Supply: $10

Liability Insurance in case it catches fire and burns down the building: $1490.

Knowledge that its not Your Problem: priceless.



not sure if trolling, but...not only is liability insurance for a hospital way more than $1490, but there are possible legal ramifications for the "repairman" who most likely violated procedure with these repairs. Just like if you were to cause an action that violated HIPPA.



Having to explain a little joke takes all the fun out of it.

Consider this:

Vendor charges $1500 for the damned thing.

Of that, the vendor uses about $10 to buy the supply. The rest of the money the vendor pays an insurance company to cover their ass in case the cheap power supply goes tits up and takes a patient with it. (double entendre for the mentally challenged if you can see it; well, now it's a triple.)

In this case, if the hospital simply paid the $1500 then if the thing burns they point the plaintiffs lawyers at the vendor. The vendor sends it to their insurance company. Insurance company settles with the family of the Recently Crispy and the only thing the hospital has to worry about is finding a new MRI vendor. Hence the priceless bit.

Now, as World+Dog knows, the moron, I mean Hospital Employee, that decided to crack open the machine and put in his own $10 power supply has now increased the risk for the hospital (and him/herself) by orders of magnitude more than the original $1500. Any self respecting manager would fire the handyman on the spot upon hearing of this for complete and utter failure to perform while endangering the lives of others; in the hopes that no one noticed exactly who hired him in the first place.

Worse than that, this self styled Guardian of the Dollar has simultaneously destroyed any warranty that the Extremely Expensive Machine might still have had. Quite frankly I'd consider him lucky to not be in jail just for cracking open the panel.

Addendum (2012-12-27 22:38):
So, to sum up:

$1500 paid to the vendor for a crap ass Chinese power supply equates to Peace of Mind that can only be had knowing in your heart of hearts that when Papa Murphy strikes it's SEP [Somebody Else's Problem].

Re: Power Supply

2012-12-30 02:20 • by Jake (unregistered)
398149 in reply to 397405
Piezoelectric speakers, I imagine.

Re: Power Supply

2013-01-03 10:42 • by Your Name (unregistered)
398372 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.


And you can pretty much guarantee that the el-cheapo equipment they use does not pass the test, nor was it actually tested.

Re: Power Supply

2013-09-18 10:36 • by Mr. TA (unregistered)
417372 in reply to 397385
Nothing about free market in stupid FDA regulations that feed lazy bureaucrats and malpractice system that feeds overpaid lawyers.

Don't blame the COW for the millions of MOSQUITOES sucking blood out of it.

Re: Power Supply

2013-09-18 10:39 • by Mr. TA (unregistered)
417373 in reply to 398028
It is exactly a product (well, a combination of products and/or services). Stop seeing everything through your "make up a reason to socialize an industry" eye.

Re: Power Supply

2013-09-18 10:51 • by Mr. TA (unregistered)
417374 in reply to 397434
Hahaha bullocks mate! It's not adequate, not even close, or why would the private system be in the game? Your famous European systems are all crap, crappier in some places than others, but still crap. Sure, US system is not good either (due to government, not despite of it), but PLEASE don't use shitty European (or god forbid, Canadian) systems as examples.
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