Health aspects of the use of radiating devices, like mobile phones, are still a public concern. Stand-alone electrocardiographic systems and those built-in, more sophisticated, medical devices have become a standard tool used in everyday medical practice. GSM mobile phones might be a potential source of electromagnetic interference (EMI) which may affect reliability of medical appliances. Risk of such event is particularly high in places remote from GSM base stations in which the signal received by GSM mobile phone is weak. In such locations an increase in power of transmitted radio signal is necessary to enhance quality of the communication. In consequence, the risk of interference of electronic devices increases because of the high level of EMI.

In the present paper the spatial, temporal, and spectral characteristics of the interference have been examined. The influence of GSM mobile phone on multilead ECG recordings was studied. It was observed that the electrocardiographic system was vulnerable to the interference generated by the GSM mobile phone working with maximum transmit power and in DTX mode when the device was placed in a distance shorter than 7.5 cm from the ECG electrode located on the surface of the chest. Negligible EMI was encountered at any longer distance.

Publication timeframe:
6 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Metrology and Testing