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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Radiation-Emitting Products

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Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Electromagnetic compatibility, or EMC means that a device is compatible with (i.e., no interference is caused by) its electromagnetic (EM) environment and it does not emit levels of EM energy that cause electromagnetic interference (EMI) in other devices in the vicinity. A medical device can be vulnerable to EMI if the levels of EM energy in its environment exceed the EM immunity (resistance) to which the device was designed and tested. The different forms of EM energy that can cause EMI are conducted, radiated, and electrostatic discharge (ESD). EMI problems with medical devices can be very complex, not only from the technical standpoint but also from the view of public health issues and solutions.

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