News | May 26, 2009

Georgia Tech And MET Laboratories To Develop And Test Protocols For RFID In Healthcare Settings

Source: AIM Global

AIM, the trade association recognized as the worldwide authority on automatic identification and mobility, today announced that protocols for testing RF emitters to ensure a benign effect in a healthcare setting will be developed and validated in collaboration with Georgia Tech Research Institute and MET Laboratories, Inc.

In 2008, it became apparent that vendors, device manufacturers, and laboratories should work together to define testing that is appropriate, thorough, and defined in a verifiable, repeatable manner. Recognizing this need, AIM Global's RFID Experts Group (REG) established a work group to identify highly qualified, impartial testing facilities that had previous experience with both RFID and healthcare with whom AIM could partner to develop and validate rigorous test protocols.

Unlike previous tests of RF emitters in healthcare settings, the AIM Global Healthcare Initiative will establish baseline requirements for the proper operation of RF in terms of real-world applications. Additionally, it will provide a standardized, repeatable methodology by which manufacturers of RF equipment as well as medical device and clinical equipment manufacturers can assess potential issues and evaluate means to mitigate them.

RF emitting devices will be tested to observe if any negative events are recorded, and under what conditions they might occur, with medical devices and clinical equipment. Testing will also determine whether specific medical devices or individual types of clinical equipment are particularly susceptible to RF and if any corrective actions can be taken to mitigate such susceptibility.

At first, work will center on two test protocol suites:

  • RF emissions and the susceptibility of medical devices (implantable and wearable) addressing conformance to AAMI PC69 (for pacemakers and ICDs) and other applicable standards RF emissions and clinical instrument susceptibility addressing conformance to, IEC 60601-1-2, 60601-2-x, ANSI/IEEE C63.18, and ANSI/AAMI TIR-18
  • RF emissions from RFID products conforming to ISO/IEC 18000-2, ISO/IEC 18000-3, ISO/IEC 18000-4, ISO/IEC 18000-6, ISO/IEC 18000-7, ISO/IEC 24730-2, ISO/IEC 24730-5, Ultra Wide Band RF and WiFi will be part of the test protocol.

These test protocols will be submitted for validation by the FDA, after which a worldwide certification program will be launched and other test centers will be invited to participate.

Dr. Gisele Bennett of Georgia Tech and Mr. Ted Osinski of MET Laboratories will partner with AIM on the development of the Test Protocols.

Organizations interested in contributing to this effort are invited to contact the AIM office at +1 724 934 4470 x108.

About AIM and the REG
AIM is the industry association and worldwide authority on automatic identification and data collection technologies. AIM members are providers and users of technologies, systems, and services that capture, manage, and integrate accurate data into larger information systems. Serving members in 43 countries for 35 years, the association has developed key technical specifications and guidelines that support the use of automatic identification technologies.

The development work will be coordinated by the RFID Experts Group (REG), a committee of AIM Global. The REG was founded in 2004 and is currently comprised of over 40 organizations from the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

For more information about AIM and the REG, please visit,, or call the AIM office at +1 724 934 4470.

Georgia Tech
For 75 years, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has been a unique nonprofit research organization embedded within one of America's top engineering universities. GTRI is comprised of some of the world's top scientists and engineers who conduct $182 million in sponsored research each year. Georgia Tech's EAS/Medical Device E3 Test Center helps manufacturers improve compatibility between implantable medical devices and systems that radiate electromagnetic energy. The Center, directed by Ralph Herkert, has focused on EAS systems for more than a decade and has recently expanded its operations and facilities to test new types of security and logistical systems -- including RFID systems. For more information, please visit

MET Laboratories
MET Laboratories has been providing testing and certification services in product safety, EMC, medical devices, military, and other areas for the past 50 years. MET is also an exclusive provider of EPCglobal RFID hardware and software certification testing. MET has a global presence. For more information about MET Labs, please visit