Haredata Electronics

IEC 60601-1-2 4th Edition

EMC for Medical Electrical Equipment

EMC for Medical Electrical Equipment

The IEC 60601-1-2 4th Edition directive was created in February 2014. This new international standard replaces the old IEC 60601-1-2 3rd Edition from 2007. The standard covers test procedures and requirements for the electromagnetic compatibility of medical electrical equipment.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States recommends in their guidelines to consider the using of the 4th Edition of the ANSI/AAM/IEC 60601-2: 2014-02. The end date of the transition period was often delayed. At the beginning it was the 1st August 2016*, then the date was changed to the 1st April 2017** and since August 2016 the transition period will end on 2018-12-31***. Within this date the FDA accept only declarations of conformity to the 4th Edition and every device will have to fulfill this new standard.

[…]“FDA recommends that you consider using the FDA-recognized ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-1-2 Edition 4:2014-02 standard […] If you use ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-1-2 Edition 3:2007 during the transition period to Edition 4 that ends December 31, 2018, you should be aware that electromagnetic disturbance in the home healthcare environment can exceed the default test levels for the hospital environment that are specified in Edition 3.“[…]***

Germany / Europe

The DIN EN60601-1-2 was published in May 2016 as EN60601-1-2:2015 and replaces the old DIN EN 60601-1-2: 2007-12 + Corrections 1:2010-05.

The conformity date for this internation standard is 1st May 2016 and the transition period will end on 2018-12-31. Within this date every device has to comply with the 4th Edition Standard.

What distinguishes the 4th Edition from the 3rd Edition?

The 4th edition of IEC standard makes a special emphasis on risk analysis and assessment. The first step for the manufacturer is to specify the essential performance and basic safety of the medical device. It could be that devices and accessories have no essential performance. The complete device or system must be considered and checked. The performance of the device is worked out in accordance with ISO 14971 and IEC60601-1 and is defined individually for each device. The manufacturer will define if a function is an essential performance and if a malfunction could be tolerable for the device.

A difference between a life supporting and non-life supporting device is not an importance, in contrast to the 3rd edition.

The second step will be the definition of INTENDED USE and INTENDED ENVIRONMENTS which could include:


For the first two environments, emissions and immunity requirements need to be specified. For the third environment, the limit values assessed must be based on the risk analysis of the special environment, this can lead to very high requirements for immunity.

What distinguishes the 4th Edition from the 3rd Edition?

Requirements of ME Equipment’s in Professional Healthcare Facility Environment

The major change to the directive is the improvement in which the device withstands against electrostatic discharge (IEC 61004-2 ESD). The test levels are increased from 6kV to 8kV contact discharge and from 8kV to 15kV air discharge.

Further to this, the frequency range of immunity against radiated emissions (IEC61000-4-3) is increased from 2.5GHz to 2.7 GHz. The immunity level is 3V/m.

Completely new to the directive are tests of RF EM fields and Proximity fields in the frequency bands from 385MHz – 5,7GHz. The field intensity is up to 28V/m. The behavior of ME Equipment influenced by RF EM fields from wireless communications will be simulated by these tests.

Requirements of ME Equipment’s in Professional Healthcare facility environment

The requirements of magnetic fields (IEC61000-4-8) has been changed, the test level has been increased ten-fold from 3A/m to 30A/m.

The repetition frequency for Burst pulses (IEC61000-4-4 Burst) has changed from 5kHz to 100kHz as this comes closer to a real world value of such an EM phenomenon.

The requirements of conducted RF induced by RF fields (IEC 61000-4-6) have changed slightly. The test level is now 3V in a Frequency range of 150kHz -80MHz and 6V in the ISM bands. The test level of 10V for life supporting devices is no longer required.

There are small changes for Voltage dips, short interruptions and voltage variations on power supply input lines (IEC 61000-4-11), among others the voltage drop to 40% UT is deleted.

Requirements for ME Equipment in Home Healthcare Environment

Medical devices in home healthcare environment must fulfill at least the same or even higher values than in a professional Healthcare facility environment. This is caused in the higher pollution by unknown transmission power in different frequency bands (radio, TV, amateur radio, Bluetooth, WLAN, GSM, UMTS, LTE etc.)

The following EM phenomenon’s have higher requirements,


Requirements for ME Equipment in home healthcare environment

4th Edition Challenge for Power Supply and ME device

With this standard, the risk assessment has been given a whole new significance. Manufacturers of medical devices and systems must work more closely with the manufacturers of the power supplies and other accessories, because a risk assessment may vary on the intended use and other external conditions.

4th Edition and 3rd Edition overview


3rd Edition

4th Edition

CISPR 11 Emissions

Class A*** or B

Class A*** or B

IEC 61000-3-2 Harmonics

Class A

Class A

IEC 61000-3-3 Voltage Fluctuation



IEC 61004-2 ESD

6kV contact discharge

8kV air discharge

8kV contact discharge

15kV air discharge

IEC61000-4-3 Radiated disturbance

30MHz – 2,5GHz 3* or 10** V/m

30MHz – 2,7GHz 3* or 10V/m**


Nearfield disturbance of wireless communication

No requirements

385MHz – 5,7GHz 9-28V/m

IEC61000-4-4 Burst

+/-2kV Repetition frequency 5kHz

+/-2kV Repetition frequency 100kHz

IEC61000-4-5 Surges

1kV Line to Line

2kV Line to GND

1kV Line to Line

2kV Line to GND

IEC61000-4-8 Magnetic Field 



IEC 61000-4-6 Conducted disturbance

150kHz – 80MHz 3* or 10** V

150kHz – 80MHz 3 or 6V ISM* and amateur radio frequency**

IEC 61000-4-11 Voltage Dips

<5% UT 0,5/1 Cycle

40% UT 5 Cycle

70% UT 25/30 Cycle

<5% >UT 5s

0% UT 0,5 different angles

0% 1 Cycle

70% UT 25/30 Cycle

0% >UT 5s


*life supporting

**non-life supporting

*** Hospital

* Professional Healthcare Facility Environment

** Home Healthcare Environment

*** Hospital





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