Understanding your MOPP from your MOOP

21st May 2024

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Choosing medical grade power supplies

In the high-tech world of medical equipment development, understanding MOPP (Means of Patient Protection) and MOOP (Means of Operator Protection) is essential. The selection of an appropriate power supply is paramount in this context. This choice is a fundamental element that impacts the functionality, safety, and compliance of medical devices. Modern medical equipment, with its advanced diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities, demands power supplies that not only meet but exceed rigorous standards for safety, reliability, and efficiency. Such high standards ensure that both patient and operator are adequately protected, aligning with MOPP and MOOP requirements.

Safety of Medical Equipment

The safety of medical equipment is intrinsically linked to the design and selection of its power supply and downstream DC-DC converters. Medical power conversion products must adhere to stringent safety standards to protect patients and operators from electrical hazards. The primary standard governing medical equipment safety is IEC 60601-1, which sets forth the general requirements for ensuring the safety and essential performance of medical electrical equipment and looks at potential hazard areas in particular high voltages and also leakage currents to earth which can have a fatal effect on even the most able-bodied people. 

MOOP & MOPP Leakage current warning


high Leakage Current

What is it?

Leakage current represents the unintended flow of electrical current from a device, potentially through the user, to ground. In medical environments, minimising leakage current is critical due to the direct physical contact between medical devices and patients. The IEC 60601-1 standard specifies limits for leakage currents, ensuring they remain within safe levels to prevent electrical shock and ensure patient and operator safety. 

IEC 60601-1 4th Edition

The 4th edition of IEC 60601-1 introduces more stringent requirements for medical electrical equipment, emphasizing risk management and enhancing safety measures against electrical hazards. This edition expands on the requirements for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), recognizing the increasing use of medical devices in various settings, including home healthcare, which presents unique challenges for EMC compliance

MOOP & MOP Creepage distance, strength tests and leakage current table


The concepts of Means of Protection (MOP) are critical in the design and certification of medical power supplies. MOPs are categorised into Means of Operator Protection (MOOP) and Means of Patient Protection (MOPP). MOOP focuses on the safety of the device operators, while MOPP is concerned with the safety of the patients. Devices designed with 2 x MOPP are considered to offer a higher level of protection, suitable for direct patient contact, reflecting stricter insulation and separation requirements. 

MOOP & MOP Creepage, Clearance distances and test voltage table
Table 2: MOOP & MOP Creepage, Clearance distances and test voltage

Choosing the Right Medical Power Supply

Selecting the appropriate medical power supply is a multifaceted process that involves considering electrical, mechanical, and regulatory requirements. The choice between standard off-the-shelf units and custom-designed power supplies hinges on the specific needs of the medical device, including power output, efficiency, form factor, and compliance with safety standards. Engineers must evaluate the trade-offs between design flexibility, time to market, and cost, ensuring the power supply aligns with the overall device architecture and intended use environment. 


In the meticulous landscape of medical device development, the selection of a power supply transcends mere technicality; it embodies a commitment to safety, precision, and compliance. Adherence to the IEC 60601 standard is not optional but a fundamental requirement, ensuring that every power supply deployed within medical applications meets the highest benchmarks of safety and reliability. Whether the application demands Means of Operator Protection (MOOP) or the more stringent Means of Patient Protection (MOPP), the power supply chosen must unequivocally align with these criteria, as detailed in the product’s datasheet.

At Relec Electronics, we understand the diverse power needs spanning the medical sector, from medical imaging devices like ultrasound scanners and MRI machines to surgical robotics and laser surgery equipment. Our portfolio extends to encompass a broad spectrum of medical devices, including patient monitoring systems, ventilators, and more, alongside dental and wellness equipment. Each category not only requires a power supply that meets regulatory standards but also one that harmonises with the specific operational demands and safety considerations inherent to that application.

Our commitment is to provide power solutions that not only conform to but exceed the expectations set by IEC 60601 specifications, ensuring our clients in the medical field can trust their equipment to perform safely and effectively, regardless of the application. Whether it’s powering an intricate surgical device, a critical patient monitoring system, or advanced dental equipment, Relec Electronics stands at the forefront of delivering power supplies that are the heartbeat of medical innovation. 

Why settle for standard when you can unlock so much more?

Enhance your medical equipment with our expert solutions. Let’s start a conversation today! 

GET IN TOUCH TODAY – 01929 555700

At Relec Electronics, we are committed to empowering your applications with the right power conversion solutions. Leveraging our extensive knowledge and experience, we guide you through the selection process, ensuring that you have all the information you need to make the best choice for your specific needs.

In the ever-evolving world of power electronics, having a trusted partner like Relec Electronics by your side ensures that you are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to navigate the complexities of power conversion, driving your applications to new heights of performance and reliability. 

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