Home › Forums › General Forum › Automated vs. Manual Biomedical Test Equipment
This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Larry Musbach 5 months ago.
What is your opinion or experience with automated verses manual biomedical test equipment? About 25 years ago, Biotek and Dynatech Nevada were the first with automated safety analyzers and related interfaced test equipment. Dynatech had the Medtester 5000 and Biotek
was a laptop controlled safety analyzer.
Today I find Fluke Ansur (a combination of the above company’s equipment, plus Metron). I also see Datrend and BC Group. As far as I can tell, Fluke seems to be similar in function to the original companies with laptop/safety analyzer control of optional test equipment and automatically recording of data. Datrend has a safety analyzer in the ES601 that also integrates with other specialized test equipment similar to the above and the newer vPad-ES, that is basically a tablet/safety analyzer that contains PM instructions but doesn’t integrate with much of their accessory equipment. The same goes for the BC Group SA-2500, which seems to function in much the same way as the vPad, displaying PM instructions but not interfacing with (controlling or reading) their other specialized test equipment.
All automated test equipment can obviously be used manually (If you hire an experienced interface). Fluke, Datrend, BC Group, Pronk, Netech and many others that I missed, all have manual test equipment and simulators. What test equipment do you use? Which system do you use/prefer, automated or manual, and why? It is obviously better to have your PM procedures right before you on a laptop, tablet, or handheld device but what about automatically controlling accessory test equipment and recording data of the safety analyzer and beyond? Is it really necessary? Is it a waste of money or the best thing since the invention of the microwave?
Although I am primarily interested in discussing automated vs manual
test equipment, there seems to be multiples of CMMS software out there
that are capable of interfacing with automated test equipment and others that don’t. What CMMS software do you use? How well does it work with your test equipment? This is an area that seems to be missing from any serious discussion on the biomed blogs or did I just miss it? I’m not into re-inventing anything. Provide a link to the discussion if available.
I invited Fluke, Datrend, BC Group and Rigel to post comments. I have no problem if CMMS software manufacturers participate but chose to not invite them because that is just a whole other area and too big for this particular forum. The only part I’d like to include is the interface to CMMS software. Is it difficult? Does it not capture all data? Etc
I started this same conversation on a couple of LinkedIn Groups (that received mostly international responses) and also Medwrench, BiomedTalk and here. If one discussion gets going, I’ll probably stop posting on the others.
Here are the other links:
LINKEDIN Clinical Engineering / Healthcare Technology Management
We are an ISO certified shop and the auditors prefer the automated system verses the manual to reduce the chance of errors, they also like seeing actual data other than check list
From personal experience, I prefer using an Automated system. Specifically the Infutest 5000. I have been using this unit since Dynatech Nevada and the DOS based management system (some 20 years now). When I travel, I prefer to have something automated, but not having to carry a laptop as well, with procedures set-up already. I would not like the fact of having to hook up everything to a laptop to be able to input data, but this is my opinion. Less is better; being this assists in limiting weight of test equipment, parts and personal gear when traveling in small planes to sleds or 4-wheelers. My trips out of the office are short, a couple days at a time. Any manual data can be put in there or more in-depth back at the shop. Still have to test manually sometimes, but you can type your test info/outputs into the MedTester (however you set your PM data). So, you do not always have to connect auxiliary test equipment.
Having to maintain maintenance data, any type of automated system helps in capturing information and downloading, etc. – and that is keeping it as an electronic record, not hardcopy……
mtekker, I had never heard of Rigel before but for all the reasons that I don’t appreciate them, you may really like them. This is my post from Medwrench on them:
Rigel appears to be the most prominent producer of biomedical test equipment in Europe and are manufactured in England. Their safety analyzer meets IEC62353 and NFPA-99 standards. (From my understanding,) all of their test equipment works independantly and stores its own data and then transfers it to their database software via bluetooth. Their database software does not currently communicate with any of the popular CMMS programs in the USA but I they say they are in communications with some of these companies. Also, their defib analyzer is currently not FDA approved but they expect that to happen in Q1/Q2.
To me, Rigel would be great for field service. They have nice cases that house all their test equipment together in one package Since our use is in a single hospital setting (with most of our clinics connected to the main facility), I love the idea of having a laptop/tablet to view all my PM procedures, hold PDF docs and maybe document problems via an onboard camera. I also like a real keyboard to type notes. The tiny keypad, in alphabetical order seems cumbersome to me. Besides, our PM carts are plenty big and the halls are wide enough for us to wheel them down them so tiny size doesn’t really matter to us. Actually, a large portion of our testing is done in the biomed shop. If you do field service, the small size can definately be a benefit.
I really like this company but the deal killers for me are:
1. No CMMS connectivity.
2. No Laptop/Tablet interface.
3. Defib analyzer is not available in the USA yet.
You can see their equipment for yourself at http://www.RigelMedical.com
Based on your comments there is a product which is automated
not only in the testing procedures it provides, but it provides the capability
to edit and create your own testing procedures and interfaces to most of the
CMMS systems on the market. It utilizes the medtester interface in the way it
performs its interfacing functions. It is the Datrend product line of which they
now have the vPad technology. I would reference the following for more information;
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