How to use a medical network isolator
along with an isolating power transformer
Due to growing digitalization in healthcare, active medical devices are more and more often combined with non medical, ehternet connected hardware like computer or imaging devices. This causes a growing risk in almost all medical facilities, hospitals and clinics – the risk of a high leakage or stray current via Ethernet data network is possible, including potential impact to the patient. Therefore the standards for electrical safety in medical technology (IEC 60601-1) are much stronger than regular office or industry standards, they require electrical isolation of the signal line, whenever an electrical device within the patient environment is being connected to each other. Our MI 1005 network isolator solves this problem and is able to isolate stray currents and voltages in the data network line up to a maximum of 5000V. Patients are safe and cannot be harmed by currents and voltages.
Following example shows the problem and visualizes why using of an isolation transformer is sufficient enough to provide full patient protection.
No electrical protection despite of the use of an isolating transformer
In Fig. 1, a gastroscopy is performed to a patient. The patient is directly connected to applied parts via gastroscope. Patient data is transferred via wired ethernet network cable to a computer, which is connected to the hospital network via the network interface itself. An isolating transformer is installed to ensure electrical safety of mains power. By connecting the medical device or system (PC, recording station,...) to an ethernet network (LAN), electrical patient safety is not guaranteed anymore. The reason for this is, because the LAN connection via the ethernet network cable is not electrically secured (isolated). On any leakage or stray current incedend anywhere in data network "error" is directly passed on into the gastroscopy cart and along to the patient. Any malfunction can also affect connected medical devices and they may even also be destroyed. In worst case, the technical failure will impact the patient; the result can be an electrical shock.
In Fig. 2, Baaske Medical network isolator MED MI 1005 is installed between the LAN output socket and the medical device or system (PC, measuring station,...), as a result the complete medical electrical gastro system is electrically isolated from the rest of the ehternet LAN. No malfunction can impact the patient anymore.