Welcome to the portable age

23rd January 2019
Alex Lynn

Recent advancements in medicine are producing startling results, from innovations in 3D bio-printing to breakthroughs in transplant surgery. Here, Michele Windsor, Global Marketing Manager of Accutronics, explores the origins of the CMX Series and how it fulfils the needs of the rapidly advancing portable age.

The improvement of patient care remains a driving force, evidenced in the rapid growth of the portable and transportable medical device market. The new wave of devices are compact, lightweight and, crucially, no longer restricted to a mains power supply.

A few years ago, Accutronics conceived the idea of the CMX Series, a range of lithium ion batteries and chargers specifically for the medical device market. During the research stage i realised there was an extraordinary opportunity to create a range of rechargeable batteries and chargers that could deliver safe and reliable energy to portable and transportable medical devices.

We used our understanding of market requirements to develop a product range that would meet the increasing demand for high energy density and high-power discharge, without compromising on safety and reliability for life-critical applications.

One of the key points we considered was the potential social benefits. Mobile technology is used both in hospitals and in the field. During patient transfer, transportable devices are used to monitor or treat patients on life supporting machines.

The CMX can be used as a main or secondary battery, offering greater security for patients and guaranteeing the power supply throughout the transfer process, it also protects against mains power loss. Hospitals are able to perform routine power management checks without having to remove the medical device from service using the smart charger that accompanies the CMX battery.

In addition to clinical setting applications, intimate and personal portable devices are widely used to treat patients in the home, improving the patients' quality of life and reducing health service costs.

A further consideration was the economic benefits of the concept. Thanks to our experience of working closely with medical OEMs, we can appreciate the pressure many are under, due to the rising global demand for hi-tech portable devices such as acute ventilators and anaesthesia workstations.

In Europe there are around 600 medical device OEMs and for the smaller manufacturer they simply don't have the resources to develop bespoke battery systems for their devices. For these companies, the CMX Series offers considerable economic benefits as the platform technology is adaptable, meaning that the battery system development and qualification costs are much reduced, and the development cycle is shortened. Using our battery technology, OEMs are able to focus their attentions, and budget, on their core skills, such as the design and development of the medical device itself.

Transport regulations
CMX series batteries have been designed to meet stringent regulations and they comply with the relevant transport regulations, which exists to mitigate the risk associated with the transport of such energy dense cargo. They also comply with international safety standards required for batteries used in medical devices.

As part of our branded Entellion range, the four batteries in the CMX range use different cell types to provide specific performance attributes which are required for the medical device market. For devices that draw very high levels of power the CMX440P and CMX820P offer 220W and 330W discharge capability respectively, and when energy density is important but high power discharge is also required the CMX420M and CMX810M offer a balance between size and power capability.

SMART features 
The smart, innovative portable power products are designed to meet the emerging needs of feature-laden devices in professional markets. Smart features of the CMX series include active and passive protection circuits that prevent over-temperature, over and under-voltage, overload and short circuit.

Smart power management means the battery only requests charge when needed and shuts down when not being used. Accurate run time prediction is possible to within 1% through the use of an impedance tracking fuel gauge which also provides a bar graph indicator for battery capacity through the use of a liquid crystal display.

Advancements in medicine and the changing nature of health care are driving the need for products to be truly innovative, at a time when OEMs are under pressure to cut costs and increase the value in each product they sell. The medical market is a challenging environment, and understandably so, but the arrival of the CMX Series supports the creation of pioneering equipment that medical practitioners can rely on.

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