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Proceedings Paper

Assessment of risks of EMI for personal medical electronic devices (PMEDs) from emissions of millimeter-wave security screening systems
Author(s): Donald Witters; Howard Bassen; Joshua Guag; Bisrat Addissie; Nickolas LaSorte; Hazem Rafai
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes research and testing of a representative group of high priority body worn and implantable personal medical electronic devices (PMEDs) for exposure to millimeter wave (MMW) advanced imaging technology (AIT) security systems used at airports. The sample PMEDs included in this study were implantable cardiac pacemakers, ICDs, neurostimulators and insulin pumps. These PMEDs are designed and tested for susceptibility to electromagnetic interference (EMI) under the present standards for medical device electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). However, the present standards for medical equipment do not address exposure to the much higher frequency fields that are emitted by MMW security systems. Initial AIT emissions measurements were performed to assess the PMED and passenger exposures. Testing protocols were developed and testing methods were tailored to the type of PMED. In addition, a novel exposure simulation system was developed to allow controlled EMC testing without the need of the MMW AIT system. Methodology, test results, and analysis are presented, along with an assessment of the human exposure and risks for PMED users. The results on this study reveal no effects on the medical devices from the exposure to the MMW security system. Furthermore, the human exposure measurements and analysis showed levels well below applicable standard, and the risks for PMED users and others we assessed to be very low. These findings apply to the types of PMEDs used in the study though these findings might suggest that the risks for other, similar PMEDs would likely be similar.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8711, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XII, 87110I (6 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2021543
Show Author Affiliations
Donald Witters, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Howard Bassen, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Joshua Guag, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Bisrat Addissie, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Nickolas LaSorte, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Hazem Rafai, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8711:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XII
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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