• ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)

    But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.

  • Gomer Pyle (unregistered)

    Floating ground anyone?

    captcha: causa - fire?

  • Pista (unregistered)

    Easy reader version: these suppliers bilk you so f...ing bad

  • Joris (unregistered)

    Not really a fail. just a 99.33333% profit margin

  • Smug Unix User (unregistered)

    You can fool some of the people all the time and those are the best customers.

  • 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".

  • Y_F (cs)

    This is so M-fricking low... someone should fry these guy's nuts!

  • Worse than /pol/ (unregistered) in reply to Joris
    Joris:
    Not really a fail. just a 99.33333% profit margin
    That's the free market for you.
  • Justsomedudette (unregistered)

    That's depressing beyond belief.

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

  • 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.

  • Zapp Brannigan (unregistered)

    What does Evi's hospital charge a patient for an aspirin?

  • 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.

  • FormatException (unregistered)

    "Occassional Medical Device Hacker" beat me to it. It's all about liability.

  • Dewey Cheatham & Howe LLP (unregistered) in reply to Occassional Medical Device Hacker
    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?

  • ¯\(°_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.

  • Cbuttius (cs)

    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).

  • mark (unregistered) in reply to Worse than /pol/

    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.

  • 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!

  • emaNrouY-Here (unregistered) in reply to Smug Unix User
    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.
  • emaNrouY-Here (unregistered) in reply to Jim
    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.

  • 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.

  • TGV (cs) in reply to Jim
    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.

  • Charles F. (unregistered) in reply to mark
    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!
  • operagost (cs) in reply to FormatException
    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.
  • operagost (cs) in reply to Mike
    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.
  • Bob (unregistered)

    $1,500 for a headset with no metal parts sounds like a bargain to me.

  • 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.

  • Todd (unregistered) in reply to Cbuttius
    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.

  • flabdablet (cs) in reply to Bob
    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.

  • Zapp Brannigan (unregistered) in reply to Lazlo
    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.

  • 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.

  • Charles F. (unregistered) in reply to Todd
    Todd:
    They can buy senators. They're rich.
    Unless you make all political campaigns publicly-financed.
  • Charles F. (unregistered) in reply to ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL
    ¯\(°_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.

  • Your Name (unregistered) in reply to mark
    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.

  • OldCoder (unregistered) in reply to Mike
    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.

  • Charles F. (unregistered) in reply to Your Name
    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."
  • Harry S. (unregistered) in reply to Mike
    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?
  • @Deprecated (cs)

    1 - Buy some string and styrofoam cups 2 - Assemble string telephone 4 - Sell to hospital for $500

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to @Deprecated

    Dude! thats like 2 way communication :o ..... should be at least $5000

  • Anonymous Bob (unregistered) in reply to Charles 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!
    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....
  • Pastebreath (cs)

    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.

  • 3rd Ferguson (unregistered) in reply to mark
    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.

  • Loren Pechtel (cs) in reply to Occassional Medical Device Hacker
    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.

  • db2 (cs) in reply to Occassional Medical Device Hacker
    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.

  • Geoff (unregistered) in reply to Tim

    Remember though, we have to kill that medical device maker tax because if we don't it will cripple the sector.

  • WPFWTF (unregistered) in reply to Worse than /pol/
    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.

  • Y_F (cs) in reply to Charles 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!

  • 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.

  • WPFWTF (unregistered) in reply to 3rd Ferguson
    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.

  • Y_F (cs) in reply to Anonymous Bob
    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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