Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is the interference caused when an electronic device is exposed to an electromagnetic field. Any device that has electronic circuitry can be susceptible to EMI, and with the increase of more complex electronic devices, EMI has become more and more of an issue.
Understanding electromagnetic interference is crucial when it comes to the design of devices, equipment, and systems of critical applications in the medical, scientific, and industrial markets. Engineers must recognize how electromagnetic energy in the entire product environment can cause interference, which can result in temporary disturbances, data losses, and in sophisticated systems, even loss of life.
There are many forms of EMI that can affect circuits and prevent them from working correctly, both man made or from natural causes. Man-made EMI generally arises from a source that is expending a continuous signal, while naturally occurring EMI can be caused from many sources such as cosmic noise or lightning and other atmospheric types of noise. When designing sophisticated devices with concurrent subsystems, it is inevitable to run into electrostatic discharge.
With the rapid evolution of technology, specifically in medical devices, comes an increase in EMI susceptibility which lead to potential safety hazards for patient care. Devices can become nonfunctional because of EMI, and become fire hazardous for patients who are undergoing treatment in oxygen-enriched environments. To ensure that a clinical environment is safe from EMI-provoked disturbances, electrical engineering teams must be proactive in their design process to ensure that they can prevent, detect, and correct EMI disturbances.
As a result of EMI/EMC susceptibilities PCB/PCBA development can be one of the most troublesome aspects of a development project. Teams are often delayed in prototyping, building multiple PCB iterations in parallel, preemptively anticipating excessive noise from one or more of these board spins. This effort can drag down a project, taking resources off of other pressing design outputs.
Not only does EMI mitigation require experienced engineers, but also a development team that is knowledge and equipped with the appropriate quality management system to develop devices that meet FDA standards. Developing devices that are compliant are integral to any medical device design as this will affect overall product cost and market clearance timing. Nectar’s seasoned engineers have extensive experience in electronic hardware, sensors, PCB design and assembly, firmware integration, and software engineering. This depth of skill allows us to offer companies an external source to focus on board development problems.
In today’s changing world, resource allocation, scaling, and budgetary concerns are more urgent than ever. Avoid adding to your internal team’s plate, choosing to partner with a design house like Nectar who can alleviate the risk associated with successful EMI/EMC testing.