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AIM 7351731 Medical Electrical Equipment and System Electromagnetic Immunity Test for Exposure to Radio Frequency Identification Readers

The purpose of AIM 7351731 testing is to address the impact that RFID readers have on medical equipment. The impact is the evaluation of electromagnetic immunity to emissions. AIM 7351731 compliance testing outlines the test methods and test levels. It is important to note that the AIM 7351731 test standard does not cover all signals. The standard focuses on the most common RFID technologies. However, Wi-Fi and ultra-wideband (UWB) are not considered.

AIM 7351731 is a great resource for manufacturers. This EMC test standard determines the RFID compatibility of a medical device. RFID readers can create electromagnetic interference (EMI) or noise. This noise can interrupt the operations of medical devices. The most common causes of EMI are the cabling and circuitry. EMI occurs when these components are in resonance with a disturbed signal. The resonance can occur at the fundamental or harmonic frequency. Essentially, fast rise time pulses wirelessly transmitted by RFID readers can cause interference.

Prior to AIM 7351731, the base standard for compliance was IEC 60601-1-2. However, it was determined that this standard did not identify all of the risks. It was also determined that some medical devices conformed to IEC 60601-1-2 EMC testing, but suffered from interference from RFIDs.

A common question is why are RFID readers so noisy? RFID technologies use radio waves to send information. Most often, they are sending an identification number from a tag to a reader. There are two basic types, active and passive. Active tags are powered by internal batteries. They periodically transmit and communicate with a reader that is remote. Unlike active tags, passive tags are powered by radio waves. These are emitted by the reader. Passive tags use radio waves to send information that can be read by the reader. When comparing the two passive tags require significantly higher levels of power.

As a result of this new challenge, this AIM compliance standard was created. The objective is to assess the possible impact of RFID readers on medical devices. The standard specifies the testing, which applies to medical and electrical equipment used near RFID readers. The definition of close is 2.5 centimeters for some RFID applications. The distance can be 20 centimeters for others. The maximum amount of rf output allowed by the FCC determines the distance.

Not all medical devices must meet the AIM 7351731 test requirements. If the device is not located near and RFID reader, this standard is not required. Near is defined as much greater than 20 centimeters. If the RF output power of the RFID reader is less than the allowed maximum, this standard is not required. When AIM 7351731 is not required, less stringent standards can be used. The most prevalent standard in this case is the IEC 60601-1-2 medical device EMC test standard.

Keystone Compliance is an expert AIM 7351731 test lab. With years of experience in EMC and RF testing, our experts have significant experience working with medical devices to determine compliance and vulnerability. Our accredited lab has seven EMC test chambers, so short lead times are not a problem. We also offer research and development scans for engineers to identify potential challenges early in the manufacturing process. Contact us today to receive a quote for AIM 7351731 compliance testing.