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March 2017

Expanded scope for SyC AAL

IEC work to help people remain active longer

To deal with Active Assisted Living (AAL) issues, the IEC has established a Systems Committee, IEC SyC AAL. This SyC has the role of promoting safety, security, privacy and cross-vendor interoperability in the use of AAL systems and services, and of fostering standardization which boosts their usability and accessibility. Its role and scope are constantly being expanded.

2016
August 2016

Keeping our powered lives safe

IECEE offers an efficient system for testing the quality, performance and energy use of many electronic devices

From the smartphone alarm first thing in the morning to switching off the lights last thing at night, many products and systems in our daily lives run off electricity. We use the hairdryer, washing machine, stove, get on and off transport and walk through automated doors at the office, take the elevator, fire up the computer and purchase items online, expecting that everything will work reliably and safely.

August 2016

Protecting against the new normal

The IEC plays a key role in protecting against cyberattacks aimed at critical assets

In an increasingly connected world, instances of cyberattacks targeting objects, systems, institutions and infrastructure are growing exponentially. The sophistication, severity and impact of these attacks vary greatly according to the targets but can have catastrophic consequences if critical systems are affected. Various IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs), and SCs of ISO/IEC JTC 1, the Joint Technical Committee set up by the IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develop International Standards to protect against these attacks.

May 2016

May 2016 nominations

The latest TC Chair nominations approved by the SMB

During the month of May, several new Chairs began their terms, as nominated by the Standardization Management Board (SMB).

March 2016

Obituary - Mike Schmidt

Colleagues and friends mourn sudden death of leading expert

The IEC is mourning the unexpected death of a longtime leader in the world of international electromedical standardization. Michael Schmidt, 65, died suddenly on 17 February while on vacation with his wife Sylvia in Florida, USA.

March 2016

How tiny technology is reshaping healthcare

Nanotechnology in medical wearables and implants is revolutionizing the way medical conditions are monitored, diagnosed and treated

Imagine contact lenses which proactively monitor the blood glucose levels of your tears and transfer that information to a doctor’s mobile device, or an intelligent management system for asthma, lower back issues or a smart health patch which keeps tabs on a patient’s vitals? Some of these devices are being developed, while some are already in use.

March 2016

New openings for surgical robots

Surgical robots, first introduced some 30 years ago are proving increasingly useful for many applications

Robotic‑assisted surgery involves a surgeon using a computer‑assisted electromechanical device to carry out complex and technically demanding medical procedures on a patient. The value of surgical robotic tools lies in their role as machines that extend the capabilities and precision of the surgeon, rather than ones that replace human skills. 

March 2016

Safeguarding fast expanding healthcare data

Growing reliance on electronic data in the healthcare environment has security implications for patients and healthcare providers

Recent years have witnessed a rapidly growing volume of healthcare-related data being collected from a variety of sources that include patients’ records, and information provided through home monitoring or wearable smart devices.

March 2016

Keeping medical electrical equipment safe from interference

Safe operation of medical equipment is essential to protect patients and users

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the ability of electronic and electrical systems or components to work reliably and safely when they are close together is crucial in many domains, in particular in the medical environment. 

March 2016

Medical equipment in the digital era

How to ensure safety of state-of-the-art medical equipment

People live longer today than ever before. There are however major variations in life expectancy between continents and countries. Even within a given country, there may be differences between wealthier and poorer regions.

January 2016

Is 4D printing the next step?

3D printing, entering a new dimension

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the computer-controlled sequential layering of materials to create three‑dimensional shapes. Originally developed more than 30 years ago, it is only in recent years that applications of the technology have expanded in fields as diverse as aerospace, medicine and dentistry, construction, the automotive industry and clothing and footwear.

2015
October 2015

Share your work

We need your stories

With 166 countries in the IEC family, more than 15 000 technical experts who work in standards development, hundreds of CBs (Certification Bodies) and TLs (Test Laboratories) in the IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, there is no shortage of stories to be told within the IEC community. In 2016, as in previous years, the e-tech editorial team will be reaching out to you to get your story.

September 2015

Standard for medical device software

Consolidated IEC 62304 issued, available as Redline version

Software is often an integral part of medical device technology and trends point to its growing importance in it. A consolidated version of IEC 62304, Medical device software– Software life cycle processes, has just been published. This International Standard provides a framework of life cycle processes with activities and tasks necessary for the safe design and maintenance of medical device software.

September 2015

Always safer medical electrical equipment

IEC standardization work ensures medical electrical equipment and systems are safe to use and operate

Medical care rests on trust. Trust between patients and medical staff and trust of the latter the equipment they use for examining and treating patients. IEC International Standards are developed specifically to ensure medical electrical equipment and systems are safe to operate, for the well-being of patients and users alike.

September 2015

Medical biometrics improve patients' care

How the healthcare sector benefits from advances in medical biometrics

Most people are familiar with the use of biometric identification systems – from fingerprints to voice recognition to iris scans – as elements of sophisticated security systems. The field of medical biometrics, however, is focused more on the collection of personal medical data and its use in diagnosis, research, and medical services development, rather than on security and identification.

September 2015

Health really matters

IEC International Standards for medical equipment take centre stage in China

The medical devices industry encompasses a wide range of items and technologies, from the simplest wound dressing to highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. Globally, the sector is worth more than USD 360 billion (2014) and is expected to grow steadily in the future.

2014
November 2014

A leader in its field

IECEE is a truly international partner for the electrical and electronic industry

The number of CB Certificates issued by members of the IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) keeps increasing each year (more than 80 000 in 2013). Add to that the successful and fruitful collaboration with international organizations, the outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new services and product categories and you have confirmation that IECEE is THE global certification system for electrical and electronic products.

April 2014

The healthcare revolution

State-of-the-art technological developments open up new perspectives

Healthcare is undergoing nothing short of a revolution with key advances in long-established technologies and major development in new areas which all depend on electrotechnology.

April 2014

Medical equipment advances at lightning speed

IECEE focuses on its safety and reliability

Since 2007, IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) has been managing the risks surrounding medical electrical equipment. Its task has become more important as technological changes and enhancements have radically increased the complexity of the sector.

April 2014

Health-giving robots

The quality of IECQ Certification helps advance the health sector

The vision of the future sees robots doing a number of things that humans don’t want to do, such as vacuuming. Though the use of artificial intelligence is not yet widespread, robots are moving into sectors that seemed unlikely even a decade ago; for example, assisting in surgical procedures. IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, helps to ensure the reliability of components used in any robots that care for us.

2013
May 2013

Trust is the keyword

IECEE leads the way in electromedical equipment safety and performance

A few weeks ago, as I underwent eye surgery, I realized that I was much more worried about the outcome than about the operation itself. Why was that? Given the numerous problems caused by poor eyesight since I was a kid, I had difficulties imagining a world that wasn’t hazy and out of focus, a world in which I would see sharp outlines and well-defined silhouettes. As for surgery, I had total confidence in the skills of my ophthalmologist. I trust him.

May 2013

Hearts are not meant to be broken

IECQ components help to advance artificial hearts

The heart has been a symbol of human emotion and complexity since before Common Era. The ancient Egyptians believed that the heart ruled the way people thought, their wisdom and who they were. The ancient Greeks thought that it was the heart, and not the brain, that controlled logic and emotion. It was in the Middle Ages, when Valentine’s Day gained popularity, that the concept of romantic love became associated with the broken heart.