Medical

A first look at medical cart power innovation

2nd August 2021
Joe Bush

A new medical cart power system, jointly designed by UK manufacturer Accutronics and its US parent company Ultralife Corporation, will be unveiled at this year’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) exhibition. The event runs from 9th-13th August 2021 in Las Vegas, US.

Healthcare settings are fast-moving environments where equipment such as computers, monitors, printers and other peripherals must be transported quickly between wards to treat patients, usually via medical carts. Recognising the need for a versatile portable power solution, the two companies’ engineering teams came together to develop the new X5 power system for these carts.

The X5 medical cart power system is a development from Ultralife that allows medical cart integrators to power equipment with energy derived from one or two hot-swappable batteries.

Named by Ultralife as the URB-X5, these 276Wh Lithium Iron Phosphate rechargeable smart batteries power an internal pure-sine-wave inverter to output 120VAC 60Hz (150W). The 276.5Wh URB-X5 batteries can be charged onboard the power system or removed, from specially designed cradles, for charging. The innovative connector system and wide grab-handle means that batteries can be inserted into the cradles in either direction, making the swap-out quick and easy. An internal bridging battery allows for uninterrupted operation while batteries are swapped. System status is provided to the user via a simple graphical user interface.

For users who want to charge their batteries away from the cart, two-bay smart chargers are available, that can be either wall or desk mounted, recharging the batteries in less than six hours.

“Whether it is a computer and scanner for updating medical records, or something more critical to direct patient care, reliable power is essential when moving this equipment quickly and safely between wards,” explained Neil Oliver, Technical Marketing Manager at Accutronics. “The power source must also be lightweight and robust.

“Accutronics and Ultralife already meet this requirement globally with our existing medical cart batteries. However, with the X5, we set out to develop a complete power system that meets every practical need in healthcare settings.”

Although most customers will specify their X5 power system with one or two hot-swappable batteries, a hybrid configuration allows hot-swap batteries to be paired with an embeddable U1 battery when longer runtimes are required. The flexible nature of the Ultralife X5 power system allows for varying use cases.

In 2021, Ultralife is planning to enhance its 12V smart U1 battery to offer an almost 20% increase in energy (from 492Wh to 584Wh) and plans to introduce a 24V version later in the year.

The X5 medical cart power system and enhanced 12V smart U1 battery will be commercially available shortly after the HIMSS exhibition. The system will be displayed on stand 3856 at the show.

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