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Potential GPRS 900/180-MHz and WCDMA 1900-MHz Interference to Medical Devices

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4 Author(s)
Steve Iskra ; Australian Centre for Bioeffects Res., Clayton ; Barry W. Thomas ; Ray McKenzie ; Jack Rowley

This study compared the potential for interference to medical devices from radio frequency (RF) fields radiated by GSM 900/1800-MHz, general packet radio service (GPRS) 900/1800-MHz, and wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) 1900-MHz handsets. The study used a balanced half-wave dipole antenna, which was energized with a signal at the standard power level for each technology, and then brought towards the medical device while noting the distance at which interference became apparent. Additional testing was performed with signals that comply with the requirements of the international immunity standard to RF fields, IEC 61000-4-3. The testing provides a sense of the overall interference impact that GPRS and WCDMA (frequency division duplex) may have, relative to current mobile technologies, and to the internationally recognized standard for radiated RF immunity. Ten medical devices were tested: two pulse oximeters, a blood pressure monitor, a patient monitor, a humidifier, three models of cardiac defibrillator, and two models of infusion pump. Our conclusion from this and a related study on consumer devices is that WCDMA handsets are unlikely to be a significant interference threat to medical electronics at typical separation distances.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 10 )