EMC for MEDICAL DEVICES
Unlike for other types of equipment, EMC is considered a safety issue for medical equipment. Clause 17 of IEC 60601-1
covers EMC, and simply refers to IEC 60601-1-2.
IEC 60601-1-2 is a 'pointer' standard, referring to CISPR 11 for emissions, and various IEC 61000-4-X standards for
immunity. These standards are basically test methods for various categories of immunity. IEC 60601-1-2 supplies the test levels and defines the pass/fail criteria.
Differing or additional EMC requirements for specific types of medical devices are found in Clause 36 of the appropriate
IEC 60601-2-X standards for particular types of medical equipment. See the IEC 60601 family of standards.
The EU's EMC requirements are covered by the EN versions of the standards given above.
In the United States, the FDA regulates medical devices. The following link gives information on the FDA's approach to
Although IEC 60601-1-2 is a 'concensus standard', FDA investigators sometimes have differing or additional requirements. The FDA writes the
following concerning IEC 60601-1-2::
"This standard should serve as a baseline for all of the appropriate device areas. However, where there are existing CDRH guidance documents
with additional EMC specifications then these will supersede the basic IEC requirements."
Also note that, in the US, medical equipment which intentionally uses EM radiation (e.g. microwave therapy devices), as well as ultrasound
equipment, is required to comply with FCC Part 18, for ISM equipment.