Prepared by:

Active Members:

Summary of Committee Activities

All committee business is presently being conducted by E-mail representation, using a reflector list (EmbStdCom@ieee.org) on the IEEE server.

A public web site (http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc/embs/emb_stds) is being maintained that lists published standards directly applicable to medical devices and also IEEE projects to develop standards for medical devices. The site now includes the EMBS Standards Committee Operating Procedures and current reports.

The committee is maintaining liaison with ANSI, ISO/CEN/TC293, IEC/TC62, and the IEEE Standards Board. A report of the IEEE Standards Board activities is provided to the EMBS Vice President and to the EMBS Standards Committee members on a regular (quarterly) basis.

IEEE Standards Board Meetings

The Board and its committees met June 25-26 in Boston and September 15-16 in Piscataway, New Jersey. The last meeting of the year, which is usually held in December, will be held January 27-28 in Singapore. The EMBS liaison was elected to voting membership on the Board for 1999 and has attended all meetings to date.

Of particular interest is the activities of the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee (SCC) 28. This committee recently published a new edition of the standard "C95.1, IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz." SCC-28 has also started a new project to develop a standard for safety level with respect to human exposure to electromagnetic fields, 0 to 3 KHZ. This proposal drew some opposition, particularly from representatives of the Power Engineering Society who were concerned about the implications of IEEE taking a position on the health effects of power line (60 Hz) radiation. However, supporters of the committees work negotiated a change in the title, using the words "acceptable levels" in place of "safety levels" and the motion to approve the project carried.

Also of interest is the work of the Medical Information Bus (MIB) committee, sponsored by Robert Kennelly. The IEEE 1073 Standard for Medical Device Communications is rapidly expanding, with several new working groups beginning new projects. (A complete list can be found on the web site.)


The financial support requested at the Fall 1998 AdCom meeting was deferred to the Spring 1999 meeting, and was not acted on at that meeting. The Standards Committee continues to operate entirely on volunteer effort and personal resources.

Future Activities

The Committee is discussing sponsorship of project to obtain IEEE adoption of the ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standard. This exhaustive treatment of the subject which has been guided by Rory Cooper. We anticipate he will chair the working group, under the sponsorship of the EMBS Standards Committee, to obtain IEEE adoption.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert F. Munzner, Ph.D.
September 30, 1999