Battery innovations take centre stage at HIMSS

Medical battery manufacturer Ultralife Corporation is redefining portable power for the global healthcare IT industry at this year's HIMSS exhibition at the Venetian-Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas from August 9-13, 2021. From stand 3856, the medical technology power specialist will be showcasing two brand new products publicly for the first time. Interested parties can let Ultralife know which day they are attending by completing an online form.

Ultralife has been manufacturing critical power solutions for fixed and portable medical technology (MedTech) worldwide for several decades. It is from this experience that Ultralife, alongside the technical capabilities of its subsidiaries Accutronics and SouthWest Electronic Energy, that the company has developed its new X5 medical cart power system and enhanced U1 smart MedTech batteries. Visitors to HIMSS will be able to learn more about these products, as well as the custom battery pack and charger design and manufacturing service offered by the Ultralife team.

The X5 medical cart power system is a unique development from Ultralife that allows medical cart integrators to directly power computers, monitors, printers, and other peripherals with energy supplied 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). 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.

Two-bay smart chargers are available, that can be either wall or desk mounted, recharging the batteries in less than six hours. There are status indicators on the chargers, batteries and power system, conveying a variety of information such as state-of-charge.

The design considerations do not end there, as the battery enclosure is constructed entirely of aluminum for light weight and high strength.

"One of the many things illuminated by COVID-19 is that portability of MedTech is crucial, which is why we are seeing the development of increasingly complex medical carts," explained Eric Lind, vice-president of commercial operations and business development at Ultralife. "These carts need safe, reliable and lightweight power systems that can meet growing power demands, which is where the X5 comes in. At HIMSS, we want to showcase this versatile power system."

And versatile it most certainly is. 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 for when longer runtimes are required. This allows the power system to be used for many and varied applications.

Ultralife's smart U1 battery has been a staple of the medical cart for several years, providing reliable and stable power. Its Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry provides outstanding safety and performance with a lifetime in excess of 2,000 cycles, equating to five years of daily use.

The latest version of Ultralife's 12V U1 provides an almost 20 per cent increase in energy (from 492Wh to 584Wh), enabling longer device operating time as more and more medical applications become untethered from their main power source. Additionally, later in the second half of 2021, Ultralife will introduce a 24V version of its smart U1 to satisfy the power and energy requirements for 24V medical applications.

"In the midst of providing medical care, loss of power is the last thing that a nurse or doctor wants to worry about," continues Lind. "That is precisely why we believe it is one of the first things that a medical design engineer should consider, and why Ultralife continues to develop its medical batteries to provide reliable, long-lasting performance that exceeds the requirements of modern MedTech."

While many MedTech applications can use these new pre-engineered power solutions, there are occasions where a more customer specific solution is required. Ultralife will be available to discuss any custom battery pack design and manufacturing services that original equipment manufacturers may need. Ultralife has decades of experience providing bespoke solutions for applications such as ventilators, infusion pumps, digital radiography equipment, cardiopulmonary devices and more.

If you are interested in learning more about the X5 power system, smart U1 battery or custom power solutions, visit Ultralife Corporation at stand 3856 at HIMSS from August 9-13, 2021. Medical cart manufacturers unable to attend the show can also contact Ultralife (USA) on +1 (315) 332-7100 or Accutronics (UK/Europe) on +44 (0) 1782 566688.

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