Lithium-ion polymer (LiPo) batteries are a great power source for portable electronic medical devices. They offer many advantages over other conventional technologies in portable medical device applications that include higher energy density, lighter weight, longer cycle life, better battery capacity retention characteristics, and a wider range of applicable temperatures.
The Importance of LiPo Batteries for Portable Medical Devices
As consumer electronics and many other industries are becoming mobile and portable, medical devices are no exception. This trend is driving the healthcare industry by improving the performance of on-site rescue equipment, monitor equipment, and medical devices.
Medical-device manufacturers not only need to consider the portability but also the reliability when making devices. A broken cell phone is annoying, but if a portable heart monitor device or infusion pump stops working due to a drained battery, the end-user – and the patient – faces a much more serious problem.
Just a few years ago, medical professionals were unable to bring life-saving equipment to emergency scenes because the technology of portable devices was not yet mature. But today, mass quantities of monitoring instruments, ultrasound equipment, and infusion pumps can be used outside of the hospital.
It is thanks to the application of such lithium polymer batteries technologies that bulky defibrillators, which weigh up to 50 pounds, can be replaced by lighter, more compact, user-friendly devices.
The mobility of patients has also become more and more important. Patients today may be transferred from radiology to the intensive care unit, from an ambulance to the emergency room, or from one hospital to another by ambulance. Similarly, the popularity of portable home instruments and mobile monitoring devices allow patients to stay where they like, not necessarily in the healthcare facility. Portable medical devices must be truly portable in the full sense of the word to provide the best service to patients.
Due to the unique chemical properties, LiPo batteries have different design constraints than previous battery technologies, such as NiMH, NiCd, and sealed lead-acid (SLA). At the same time, medical devices have more stringent operational requirements than consumer electronics, so powerful battery packs with accurate charge monitoring and reliable batteries are needed.
Characteristics of lithium polymer technology for medical devices
High energy density
The main advantage of lithium polymer battery technology is its significant increase in energy density. LiPo batteries can store and release more energy than other rechargeable batteries that are the same size and weight.
Energy density is measured in terms of both volume and mass. Lithium polymer technology now offers a volumetric energy density of nearly 500Wh/L and a mass-energy density of 200Wh/kg.
Lithium polymer batteries operate at a higher nominal voltage than other rechargeable batteries. They are typically around 3.7V, compared to 1.2V for NiCd or NiMH batteries. This means that when multiple other batteries need to be used, only one lithium polymer battery is enough. The higher the energy density of the battery used in the portable instrument, the smaller and more portable the instrument will be.
Lithium polymer batteries can also be made into different shapes and sizes and capacities. The reduced size of the battery means engineers can use the extra space to add more new features and customizations to the same product. Such as Grepow shape batteries are designed to fit into any and all spaces in a product. In order to provide the best efficiency, Grepow batteries can be made to fit into even unused spaces. With our proprietary formula and high discharge-rate technology, you can maximize the run time and use of your product.
The battery naturally loses its capacity. This phenomenon is known as self-discharge. However, most of its lost capacity can still be recovered if stored properly. Overall, LiPo batteries have very low self discharge compared to other batteries.
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