IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Volume 65, Number 4, pp. 954-959, Aug 2023, DOI: 10.1109/TEMC.2023.3272656

ESD Events to Wearable Medical Devices in Healthcare Environments-Part 1: Current Measurements

Mehdi Kohani1,2, Javad Meiguni2, David J. Pommerenke3,4, and Michael G. Pecht1
1Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, USA
3Institute of Electronics, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
4Silicon Austria Labs, TU-Graz SAL EMCC Lab, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

For more information about this article and related research, please contact Prof. Michael G. Pecht.


Wearable medical devices are widely used for monitoring and treatment of patients. Electrostatic discharge can render these devices unreliable and cause a temporary or permanent disturbance in their operation. In a healthcare environment, severe electrostatic discharge (ESD) can occur while a patient, lying down or sitting on a hospital bed with a wearable device, discharges the device via a grounded bedframe. To protect the devices from ESD damage, the worst-case discharge conditions in the usage environment need to be identified. Previous studies by authors revealed that such events could be more severe than the conventional human metal model (HMM). However, the impact of various body postures and device location on the body and the severity of the discharge current compared with HMM have not been investigated for healthcare environments. This study is an attempt to address the gap in the literature by investigating severe discharges in such environments and characterizing their current waveforms for three postures (standing on the floor, sitting, and lying down on a hospital bed), two device locations (hand and waist), and four body voltages (2, 4, 6, and 8 kV). This study highlights that the IEC 61000-4-2 standard may not be sufficient for testing wearable medical devices.

This article is available online here and to CALCE Consortium Members for personal review.

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