The role of electromagnetic compatibility in implantable medical device design and testing has become increasingly important as we rely more and more on electronics in our lives.
During the course of a normal day, our human body can experience a large number of different electromagnetic environments. Our homes can be relatively benign. But when we put a mobile phone to our ears, or pass through a department store security check, we are exposing our body to high levels of electromagnetic fields.
We are not normally aware of this invisible aspect of our surroundings, nor is it harmful, but when we carry an active implantable medical device with us the results can be serious. That's why manufacturers of such devices must anticipate the environments we visit - and test their devices to assure continuous, reliable operation.
The electromagnetic environments experienced by implanted medical devices are quite different from those encountered by common types of other medical electrical equipment. In this paper we will start from the basic issues of medical EMC and analyze the unique circumstances affecting active implanted devices.
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