Hospitals are noisy places – the combination of equipment noise, constant activity, loud voices, overhead paging systems, alarms, slamming doors, trolleys, phones, televisions and elevators can hinder patient recovery as well as lead to staff ‘burnout’.
In fact, the World Health Organization recommends that noise in hospital wards generally shouldn’t exceed 30 decibels, but the findings of a study by researchers from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, evaluating the sleep quality of 106 patients showed that the peak noise level rivalled that of a chainsaw, reaching more than 80 decibels. So much for a restful environment!
One example of a medical device that affects both staff and patients is the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) unit, a large cylindrical tube surrounded by a circular magnet. The patient lies on a table that slides into the centre of the magnet, and as the MRI scanner begins, it makes thumping and humming sounds that last for several minutes. This is caused by the switching on and off of field gradients resulting in vibration that produces loud noises. The sound intensity can reach very significant levels, making the MRI experience a very frightening one for patients and adding to their overall sense of claustrophobia and anxiety. In fact, ear protection is required for anyone inside an MRI scanner room. An average MRI examination lasts around an hour with each scan lasting between two and seven minutes.
For medical industry OEMs, MR magnets are just one of many medical device components or sub-assemblies subjected to demanding sound and vibration tests and analysis, not only to enhance patient and staff welfare by reducing noise levels, but also to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines and standards, as well as to make sure that products do not adversely affect other systems in a hospital environment.
With its range of different solutions, HBK helps the medical industry to improve, understand and control the sound and vibration created by their products – from MR magnets to medical equipment alarm sound analysis, dialysis machine sleep disturbance noise, transportation vibration testing and more. In fact, HBK is able to improve your testing efficiency with a simple, easy-to-use but still reliable system, that does not require a complex data acquisition and analysis setup. Among these solutions, the BK Connect® FFT, CPB, and Overall Analysis applet is perfectly suited for standard, straightforward sound and vibration testing, but with the same reliability and thought through design of an advanced sound and vibration analysis software platform.
Many of the mistakes that happen during testing are directly related to technicians and engineers making errors when setting up software or hardware. One way of ensuring a correct setup is to use templates and reuse project files, not only preventing the number of files from becoming unmanageable but also making it easier to share and compare data with engineering teams at other locations. Just by using the BK Connect applet, you can see improvements in three areas.
The first? Simplified and streamlined testing. Predefined templates are included in the applets, allowing technicians and engineers alike to carry out simple sound and vibration tests as no special setup is required. A logical workflow guides them through both the setup and test, ensuring smooth and systematic execution, significantly reducing the risk of incorrect settings and deviations from optimal procedure. This results in data that is gathered properly, regardless of test location, and a consistent test process.
Secondly, data reliability, cross use, and comparison. Using the applet’s fixed templates does more than avoid setup errors. Engineers and technicians working at different engineering sites could easily and efficiently share and compare the same test setup data across tests and components (as the data format is always identical). Well maintained data also meant that tests can be done with a high level of confidence, consistency, and repeatability.
Thirdly, flexibility and cost efficiency. Flexible systems for technicians and engineers are necessary to perform simple sound and vibration test processes without spending a large amount of money or tying up the entire R&D system – the BK Connect applet system is a perfect fit, saving a lot of time and money.
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BK Connect applets
The BK Connect FFT, CPB and Overall Analysis applet provides you with a way to set up a testing procedure confidently and easily, allowing you to get the job done the first time. The good news: There are even more BK Connect applets as point solutions for noise mapping, order analysis, and impact hammer measurements.
Download the BK Connect Applets brochure now and find out more!