Interference in medical devices by radiofrequency signals from cellular phones

| 23/01/2009
Instalaciones Seguridad Documentación Artículos Interference in medical devices by radiofrequency signals from cellular phones

Páginas: 3 págs.

M. Hietanen
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
Helsinki, Finland

V. Sibakov
Helsinki University of Technology
Espoo, Finland


Safety of patients and acute medical treatments in hospitals require fast and constant attainability of the staff. Traditionally, the hospitals use a paging system that can usually show only phone number of the caller. The person
answers the call by using a special number code in the nearest telephone. The limitation of the paging system is that it functions only in the hospital area. The best technical solution for the staff would be the use of mobile telephones. They are, however, forbidden in most hospitals. This prohibition is based on the suspicion that the mobile phones cause disturbances in medical equipment, hence endangering safety of the patients. This project aimed to test interference by cellular telephones in the hospital environment, and to find areas where the use of mobile phones is safe. The objective was, therefore, to clarify whether the traditional paging system could be replaced by cellular phones.

Requirements for electromagnetic compatibility of medical equipment have been defined generally in the IEC standard 601-1-2 [1]. Concerning RF fields emitted by cellular phones, the immunity of medical devices is defined by the
electromagnetic compatibility requirement which is 3 V/m in the frequency area 26...1000 MHz. After 1993, new medical equipment has been designed according to this requirement.

The testing focused particularly on the equipment that could endanger patients? safety because of electromagnetic disturbance. The number of different appliances tested was 23.
Hietanen, M.; Sibakov, V.

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