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Impact of EAS Systems on Implanted Cardiac Pacemakers and Defibrillators

Author(s): Norbert Leitgeb | Florian Niedermayr | Gerhard Loos

Journal: Journal of Electromagnetic Analysis and Applications
ISSN 1942-0730

Volume: 05;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 67;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: RFID | Interference | Electromagnetic Fields | Electromagnetic Compatibility | Safety

To investigate electromagnetic interference (EMI) of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems with electronic implants numerical anatomical models of pacemaker patients were generated accounting for different implantation sites (left pectoral, right pectoral and abdominal) and body size. Induced interference voltages were calculated with a software package applying the Finite Integration Technique and analysed in dependence on frequency. Results were referred to reported maximum magnetic fields levels measured at EAS systems in the ELF, IF and RF range. With reference to electromagnetic immunity requirements of safety standards of implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, the numerical analysis showed that the relevance of interference depends on the applied EMF frequency. At EAS systems operating in the RF range, EMI and consequential inadequate pacing is rare but cannot be ruled out. The probability of such events increases at EAS systems in the IF range and even more in the ELF range. Since interference is encountered already at yet existing systems, the situation would be worse if future systems would further increase their emissions by making use of the elevated reference levels recommended in updated exposure guidelines.
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