Power Supply

  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2012-12-18 08:04
    But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.
  • Gomer Pyle 2012-12-18 08:07
    Floating ground anyone?

    captcha: causa - fire?
  • Pista 2012-12-18 08:08
    Easy reader version: these suppliers bilk you so f...ing bad
  • Joris 2012-12-18 08:20
    Not really a fail.
    just a 99.33333% profit margin
  • Smug Unix User 2012-12-18 08:25
    You can fool some of the people all the time and those are the best customers.
  • Tim 2012-12-18 08:28
    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 2012-12-18 08:32
    This is so M-fricking low... someone should fry these guy's nuts!
  • Worse than /pol/ 2012-12-18 08:37
    Joris:
    Not really a fail.
    just a 99.33333% profit margin

    That's the free market for you.
  • Justsomedudette 2012-12-18 08:42
    That's depressing beyond belief.

    Captcha: pity they didn't 'suscipit' sooner.
  • Occassional Medical Device Hacker 2012-12-18 09:05
    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 2012-12-18 09:06
    What does Evi's hospital charge a patient for an aspirin?
  • FormatException 2012-12-18 09:07
    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 2012-12-18 09:09
    "Occassional Medical Device Hacker" beat me to it. It's all about liability.
  • Dewey Cheatham & Howe LLP 2012-12-18 09:10
    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 2012-12-18 09:11
    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 2012-12-18 09:12
    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 2012-12-18 09:19
    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 2012-12-18 09:19
    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 2012-12-18 09:19
    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 2012-12-18 09:21
    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 2012-12-18 09:23
    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 2012-12-18 09:37
    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. 2012-12-18 09:38
    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 2012-12-18 09:39
    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 2012-12-18 09:40
    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 2012-12-18 09:44
    $1,500 for a headset with no metal parts sounds like a bargain to me.
  • Lazlo 2012-12-18 09:50
    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 2012-12-18 09:57
    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 2012-12-18 09:57
    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 2012-12-18 10:00
    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 2012-12-18 10:03
    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. 2012-12-18 10:05
    Todd:
    They can buy senators. They're rich.
    Unless you make all political campaigns publicly-financed.
  • Charles F. 2012-12-18 10:07
    ¯\(°_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 2012-12-18 10:13
    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 2012-12-18 10:17
    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. 2012-12-18 10:17
    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. 2012-12-18 10:26
    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 2012-12-18 10:30
    1 - Buy some string and styrofoam cups
    2 - Assemble string telephone
    4 - Sell to hospital for $500
  • Mike 2012-12-18 10:34
    Dude! thats like 2 way communication :o ..... should be at least $5000
  • Anonymous Bob 2012-12-18 10:39
    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 2012-12-18 11:05
    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 2012-12-18 11:10
    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 2012-12-18 11:16
    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 2012-12-18 11:16
    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 2012-12-18 11:19
    Remember though, we have to kill that medical device maker tax because if we don't it will cripple the sector.
  • WPFWTF 2012-12-18 11:24
    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 2012-12-18 11:26
    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 2012-12-18 11:28
    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 2012-12-18 11:32
    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 2012-12-18 11:38
    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...
  • D-Coder 2012-12-18 11:38
    Zapp Brannigan:
    What does Evi's hospital charge a patient for an aspirin?
    If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
  • Mike 2012-12-18 11:39
    Actually, I would be taking the attitude that the vendor was committing a fraud. I would be summoning the account manager at said vendor, followed by various official bodies if said account manager didn't open his wallet very wide.

    captcha = damnum

    Dead right
  • Herr Otto Flick 2012-12-18 11:42
    emaNrouY-Here:
    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.


    Selection bias, on the basis of two people's personal experiences. You do realise there are literally tens of different types of MRI. High field or rapid imaging devices produce significant noise, up to 120 dB.
  • Herr Otto Flick 2012-12-18 11:48
    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).
  • cellocgw 2012-12-18 11:56
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.

    The case is the only item actually worth a high price -- it's almost certainly mu-metal (a special blend which has no magnetic susceptibility, hence safe to use near an NMR machine)
  • Daniel 2012-12-18 12:17
    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.


    I suspect it is just a tube. All sound reproduction equipment is well out of range of the MRI magnetic field. Old airline headsets worked the same way.
  • TheLazyHase 2012-12-18 12:23
    Charles F.:
    Unless you make all political campaigns publicly-financed.


    If it wasn't sarcasm, try to see how it work out for country that try that. A hint for you : in France (admitelly, private fund are capped instead of forbidden), most political scandal happen because of private funds, so it seem to not discourage anybody.
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-18 12:33
    3rd Ferguson:
    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.


    +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.
  • noPlate.head 2012-12-18 12:49
    The magnetic parts are in another room. All you get are like the old school airplane headphones, a couple of tubes (in parallel, not series, har har) that channel the sound to you. Any transducers are at the opposite end of the tube from your ears. Your headphones are more like a stethoscope.
    Having used them I can say that the sound quality is poor. And asking me what kind of music I want for something like this reminds me of "Soylent Green."
  • noPlate.head 2012-12-18 12:53
    cellocgw:
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.

    The case is the only item actually worth a high price -- it's almost certainly mu-metal (a special blend which has no magnetic susceptibility, hence safe to use near an NMR machine)


    So it is made of aluminum?
  • JAPH 2012-12-18 12:58
    Charles F.:
    ¯\(°_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?


    I worked for a company which manufactured and monitored Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) - a class 2 medical device. We had to send 10 of our units to be certified and the process cost over 100k. Every time we changed chip manufacturers we had to be certified again. If it was this stringent for a PERS for in-house use, I can't imagine the process for certifying a headset designed to work near an MRI machine.

    CAPTCHA: esse - Portuguese for "exactly this"
  • Obnoxious Frog 2012-12-18 12:58
    Quoted for truth, and also because I'm quite flabbergasted to read something so thoughtful, clear, and well redacted in TDWTF comments.

    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.
  • Worse than /pol/ 2012-12-18 13:03
    Worse than /pol/:

    Damn my link's broken already. I knew I should have looked for a more reliable imageserver.

    Also Akismet sucks. No really, I see daily complaints about it here, and apparently this has been going on for years. Seriously? Could we please improve or remove the Captcha or the spam filter? I guess Alex doesn't usually post comments here.
  • Tony 2012-12-18 13:03
    ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
    But the case was hospital rated, so it was $1450 of the cost.


    Exactly! That's why a Craftsman #2 phillips screwdriver costs the military $250 instead of $8 - it has to be specially certified. Same materials, same design, same function... huge markup! That's government for you!
  • Captcha:suscipit 2012-12-18 13:04
    JAPH:
    Charles F.:
    ¯\(°_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?


    I worked for a company which manufactured and monitored Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) - a class 2 medical device. We had to send 10 of our units to be certified and the process cost over 100k. Every time we changed chip manufacturers we had to be certified again. If it was this stringent for a PERS for in-house use, I can't imagine the process for certifying a headset designed to work near an MRI machine.

    And yet I bet whoever issues those certificates would gladly do it for $50k if you promised not to tell.
  • cbarn 2012-12-18 13:08
    [quote user="operagostDoes it matter that the affected system is just for patient comfort, and in no way affects the function of the instrument? [/quote]
    It may not be only for patient comfort. The last time I had an MRI the headsets were used not only for noise reduction but for relaying instructions to the patient (e.g. "Hold your breath ... keep holding ... release ... we'll do that again in 10 seconds ...")

    That damn breath-holding, have-to-listen requirement also cost me a 45 minute nap ... sleeping through a noisy MRI is nothing after raising three boys.
  • Bored 2012-12-18 13:09
    Mason Wheeler:
    (Imagine where we'd be if we didn't have dedicated automotive technicians, electrical engineers, civil engineers, or electronics designers and programmers!)


    You forgot the public telephone handset cleaners.
  • Joe 2012-12-18 13:20
    Your Name:
    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
    You would also be able to do that research and make those choices before sustaining an injury... if you wanted to.

    For that matter, you could even hire someone to do that research for you -- again, if you wanted to. You could pay them a small retainer to act on your behalf in your best interest, to whatever degree makes the most sense to you. Let's call that "someone" an "ensurance" company, because they would help you ensure that you get a good deal and quality care.

    Also, in a free market, you'd get to choose whatever ensurance company gave you the best price and the best combination of services fit for your needs as you perceive them, instead of being forced to deal with the one sole bureaucracy approved by the governing powers getting their kickbacks.
  • Slapout 2012-12-18 13:21
    Zapp Brannigan:
    What does Evi's hospital charge a patient for an aspirin?


    Let's see:

    The aspirin: .50
    Paying a nurse to bring it to you: $10.00
    Filling out the insurance paperwork: $12.00
    Filling out the required government forms: $20.00
    Total: $42.50
  • Occassional Medical Device Hacker 2012-12-18 13:24
    Indeed the actual headphone is not metal, but any lawyer would still argue that it is part of the MRI machine and it connects to the patient. If it touches the MRI machine, it has to be susceptible to the same standard as the MRI machine itself (because someone had better made REALLY, REALLY sure there are no metal parts in there. Just as someone should catch all the other hundreds of idiosyncrasies involved with reliably operating equipment in an MRI + Hospital (magnetics AND chemicals) environment. Even if the device has an inherently safe design (which medical engineers are actually paid to create), someone has to check (and certify, with a big penalty in case he was wrong) that it is indeed safe.

    Playing loose with these rules is ok as long you accept that it might cost you quite a bit.
  • Zylon 2012-12-18 13:36
    I've seen the opposite situation on a kiosk project I worked on a while back. Typical setup—a standalone box with a touchscreen monitor and speakers. For the speakers you'd think they'd just go for powered speakers or a basic little amp box, right? Nooooooo. First time we cracked one open to install the software, we found a full receiver in there. Doing nothing but driving two chintzy little speakers. Sigh.
  • Charles F. 2012-12-18 13:39
    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....
    Yeah... I have a doctor in reality, not the parallel universe that Glenn Beck beamed in from. I just make an appointment.
  • 3rd Ferguson 2012-12-18 13:41
    WPFWTF:
    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.


    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.
  • Ben 2012-12-18 13:53
    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.


    So TRWTF is government?

    Captcha: facilisi (fascism by liability laws)
  • A Luser 2012-12-18 13:54
    Gomer Pyle:
    Floating ground anyone?

    captcha: causa - fire?


    Oh, I'll betcha it had CE and UL approval marks on the label :-)

    Another example of Quality Chinese Engineering.
  • Ben 2012-12-18 14:02
    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.


    Given the fact that there are at least 50,000 deaths and 1,000,000 excess injuries yearly in U.S. hospitals alone, I would say that caveat emptor is a pretty darn good principle to live by. Putting your faith in government to take care of you, on the other hand, is not.
  • Your Name 2012-12-18 14:10
    Joe:
    Your Name:
    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
    You would also be able to do that research and make those choices before sustaining an injury... if you wanted to.

    For that matter, you could even hire someone to do that research for you -- again, if you wanted to. You could pay them a small retainer to act on your behalf in your best interest, to whatever degree makes the most sense to you. Let's call that "someone" an "ensurance" company, because they would help you ensure that you get a good deal and quality care.

    Also, in a free market, you'd get to choose whatever ensurance company gave you the best price and the best combination of services fit for your needs as you perceive them, instead of being forced to deal with the one sole bureaucracy approved by the governing powers getting their kickbacks.


    And how, exactly, does this change the fact that emergency care is, by definition, time-critical, and so the "best" source of emergency care will generally be "whichever trauma center is nearest to the scene of the accident", who, in a free market, could price whatever the market could bear?
  • Double E 2012-12-18 14:33
    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.
  • Joe 2012-12-18 14:38
    Your Name:
    And how, exactly, does this change the fact that emergency care is, by definition, time-critical, and so the "best" source of emergency care will generally be "whichever trauma center is nearest to the scene of the accident", who, in a free market, could price whatever the market could bear?
    Unless, of course, you (or your "ensurance" company) had the foresight to negotiate those prices in advance.

    I am always amazed how many people will line up to say "I don't want to be allowed to make a choice, because I might make the wrong choice. On the other hand, if someone who is not me and doesn't really care about me as much as I do makes the choice for me, and I'm stuck with it, they will at least always make the right choice. Because authorities are so much smarter and wiser than I could ever be, even if I paid someone to help me."
  • Bill Dance 2012-12-18 14:43
    Nice shot of your crotch.
  • Ben 2012-12-18 15:01
    Y_F:

    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!


    I'm stunned that anybody would hold up Cuba as an example of 'fair' or 'free' health care. Ordinary citizens can't even get in to the upper tier hospitals reserved for foreigners and Party members, let alone get access to actual medication.
  • Darth Paul 2012-12-18 15:02
    Joe:
    Your Name:
    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
    You would also be able to do that research and make those choices before sustaining an injury... if you wanted to.

    For that matter, you could even hire someone to do that research for you -- again, if you wanted to. You could pay them a small retainer to act on your behalf in your best interest, to whatever degree makes the most sense to you. Let's call that "someone" an "ensurance" company, because they would help you ensure that you get a good deal and quality care.

    Also, in a free market, you'd get to choose whatever ensurance company gave you the best price and the best combination of services fit for your needs as you perceive them, instead of being forced to deal with the one sole bureaucracy approved by the governing powers getting their kickbacks.


    And yet, other countries with free health care get more medical care for less money spent per capita with no compromise in quality of care. And doctors still earn enough to be good marriage targets.
  • Darth Paul 2012-12-18 15:04
    Occassional Medical Device Hacker:
    Indeed the actual headphone is not metal, but any lawyer would still argue that it is part of the MRI machine and it connects to the patient. If it touches the MRI machine, it has to be susceptible to the same standard as the MRI machine itself (because someone had better made REALLY, REALLY sure there are no metal parts in there. Just as someone should catch all the other hundreds of idiosyncrasies involved with reliably operating equipment in an MRI + Hospital (magnetics AND chemicals) environment. Even if the device has an inherently safe design (which medical engineers are actually paid to create), someone has to check (and certify, with a big penalty in case he was wrong) that it is indeed safe.

    Playing loose with these rules is ok as long you accept that it might cost you quite a bit.


    And yet, the patient does not require $100K of certification to ensure they have no metal objects on their person.
  • Charles F. 2012-12-18 15:17
    Joe:
    I am always amazed how many people will line up to say "I don't want to be allowed to make a choice, because I might make the wrong choice. On the other hand, if someone who is not me and doesn't really care about me as much as I do makes the choice for me, and I'm stuck with it, they will at least always make the right choice. Because authorities are so much smarter and wiser than I could ever be, even if I paid someone to help me."
    The issue is that few of us have the requisite expertise to make informed choices. Much of the content on this web site is a monument to the outcomes of choices made by people who don't understand the things on which they are deciding. For some reason, the site is not named "The Daily Super-Efficient Decision Making."

    What amazes me is that if you are going to defer judgement to experts, why would you choose a group of people (insurance companies) who have a profit motive to screw you over?!
  • NotHere 2012-12-18 15:48
    Power Supply: $10

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

    Knowledge that its not Your Problem: priceless.

  • Occassional Medical Device Hacker 2012-12-18 15:51
    No, but they do have to go through a metal detector. MRI for persons with any metal implants is non-trival/ sometimes impossible.
  • angry chinaman 2012-12-18 16:10
    And just like that, 2,000 chinese jobs disappeared.
  • Stephane 2012-12-18 16:12
    Yup, even found a seller for specific mri headphones. 275$ for a pair. Hopefully the op can save his hospital some money :)

    http://www.scansound.com/index.php/mri-music/pneumatic-mri-headphones/mri-noise-reduction-headphone.html#
  • Scott 2012-12-18 16:22
    Not that I would have solved the engineering problem with hot glue and laptop power supplies, but I'm surprised at the number of comments berating the expense of things like this. There is a significant amount of expense for overhead (engineering, logistics, review), that, if you can only spread over a unit run of, say, 100 power supplies, results in a high price, even if the part that failed (whose own high overhead cost is spread over 100,000 units) is available for $10. If the thing were made of 7809's, it would be the same story--$1500 for a 7809? Try 15 cents. But there's more to it than just a silicon part.
  • Coyne 2012-12-18 16:32
    Non-compliance! Breach of patient safety! Patent infringement. Trademark violation! NAFTA violation! UL derated! Licensing violation!

    How dare you short us our $1500!

    See you in court, buddy boy!
  • Mason Wheeler 2012-12-18 16:39
    Occassional Medical Device Hacker:
    No, but they do have to go through a metal detector. MRI for persons with any metal implants is non-trival/ sometimes impossible.


    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?
  • AN AMAZING CODER 2012-12-18 16:48
    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.

    Starting to question the diversity in the editors' experiences lately.
  • TheLazyHase 2012-12-18 16:52
    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?


    Wikipedia say to me that Titanium is not a magnetic metal (and specifically say it's consequently safe for MRI). I suppose he would be fine.

    If he had a plate in a magnetic material, chance are hospital would use a less precise but still adequate technology, maybe X-ray. It's not different from being allergic to a common drug.
  • AN AMAZING CODER 2012-12-18 16:55
    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.

  • Krise 2012-12-18 16:57
    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.
    Yes, because we all know that every dailywtf is set in America.
  • asdfg 2012-12-18 17:01
    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.






    But is a power pack for some fancy speakers that are totally unrelated to the MRI machine really a "medical grade device"?
  • kbiel 2012-12-18 17:02
    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.
  • Roger Wolff. 2012-12-18 17:08
    I fell asleep in the darn thing. Then they wake me up, by calling over the PA into the machine, to tell me they are sorry that the soothing music isn't working. Grrr....
  • Raining on Parades 2012-12-18 17:08
    WPFWTF:
    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.
    I've never met a vaccuum cleaner salesman who's an electrician either - in fact I'd almost argue that I understand the vaccuum cleaner better than the guy trying to tell me that this one actually cleans carpet better and with more power than anything else but doesn't rip my carpet to shit....
  • WPFWTF 2012-12-18 17:14
    3rd Ferguson:
    WPFWTF:
    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.


    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.


    Can you truly expect everyone to be able to have sufficient knowledge to make a choice on a given product of moderate complexity?

    So they have to rely on an expert to make those decisions for them?

    What's the difference between a public employed expert and a private employed expert? Profit you say? Really? There are public employee unions. Aren't they making income? Can you expect the same level of specialization and education from a low-paid government employee tasked with dolling out critical information?

    Can't the government put pressure on its employees to sell more "services" to get more costs out of the consumer so to raise its available funds. Whereby politicians vote for the funds to be open (just like Social Security), so they can apply those funds to getting re-elected?

    The difference between me and you isn't that I believe there's nothing wrong and you find everything wrong. The difference between me and you is that we both see a problem and you think that the government is somehow less corrupt than the private industry and more capable for solving the problem.
  • rfoxmich 2012-12-18 17:15
    ..and $1490 for knowing what supply to send.
  • UK MP 2012-12-18 17:16
    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....
  • John 2012-12-18 17:18
    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.
  • WPFWTF 2012-12-18 17:27
    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.
  • Valued Service 2012-12-18 17:27
    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.
  • Meep 2012-12-18 18:13
    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?
  • Rhywden 2012-12-18 18:18
    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.
  • HowItWorks 2012-12-18 18:27
    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.
  • Coyne 2012-12-18 19:37
    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.
  • Cat 2012-12-18 20:04
    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.
  • Earp 2012-12-18 20:04
    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.
  • Cat 2012-12-18 20:14
    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.
  • iusto 2012-12-18 20:38
    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.
  • Matthew 2012-12-18 22:09
    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.
  • Maverick 2012-12-18 22:18
    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.
  • zdfxh 2012-12-19 00:08
    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?
  • Cat 2012-12-19 00:58
    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.
  • Gunslinger 2012-12-19 02:39
    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.
  • Sean 2012-12-19 03:52
    I hope this isn't NHS hospitals being fleeced
  • roger Wolff 2012-12-19 04:22
    [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.
  • Santa 2012-12-19 05:02
    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!
  • Symbiatch 2012-12-19 05:50
    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 ;)
  • Catprog 2012-12-19 08:34
    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.
  • chris 2012-12-19 10:29
    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.
  • Unicorn #2816 2012-12-19 10:54
    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.
  • Paul Neumann 2012-12-19 11:41
    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.
  • Valued Service 2012-12-19 11:54
    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.
  • DWalker59 2012-12-19 13:48
    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?
  • smxlong 2012-12-19 17:14
    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.
  • Anon 2012-12-19 22:19
    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?
  • Stieg 2012-12-20 04:12
    Actually, he did give crap.
  • Paul 2012-12-20 05:34
    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.
  • Foo 2012-12-20 09:31
    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.
  • Foo 2012-12-20 09:37
    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?
  • Foo 2012-12-20 09:42
    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.
  • Foo 2012-12-20 09:45
    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.
  • anonamouse 2012-12-20 17:13
    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.
  • munufacturing 2012-12-21 06:35
    That's why they couldn't fix it: they got it on the lowest quote from China, and never even looked inside before.
  • RogerX 2012-12-23 20:18
    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.
  • The Submitter 2012-12-24 00:28
    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).
  • toshir0 2012-12-27 10:04
    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.
  • Joe 2012-12-27 14:33
    The original poster really ought to publish the name of the vendor.. There is nothing libelous to be afraid of.
  • NotHere 2012-12-27 22:31
    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].
  • Jake 2012-12-30 02:20
    Piezoelectric speakers, I imagine.
  • Your Name 2013-01-03 10:42
    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.
  • Mr. TA 2013-09-18 10:36
    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.
  • Mr. TA 2013-09-18 10:39
    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.
  • Mr. TA 2013-09-18 10:51
    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.