Finding “50 & More Shades of Grey”, Unveiling EMC in Healthcare

A Day of Hope and Healing Discovery at MST Hospital

In a world filled with hustle and bustle, we often overlook the extraordinary places where everyday heroes work tirelessly to make a difference. Hospitals are one such place, where the juxtaposition of vulnerability and resilience creates an atmosphere unlike any other.

Real-life clinical environments are very different from ideal EMC testing environments. Ideal EMC testing environments are either black (Anechoic chamber, fully absorptive) or white (Reverberation chamber, fully reflective). However real clinal environments (actual intended use environments of medical electrical equipment) are neither black nor white and rather grey. They are different from each other having many more “shades of grey”.
Recently, we had the privilege of visiting MST ( Medisch Spectrum Twente) in Enschede, The Netherlands, and what we discovered was truly inspiring. Join us on this journey as we recount our day of hope and healing.
On the 29th of September 2023, our ETERNITY team embarked on a remarkable journey to MST. Our mission was to gain an immersive understanding of how electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) concepts are expertly applied in a professional healthcare environment.

Welcomed with Warmth

From the moment we stepped through the hospital’s entrance, we were greeted with warmth and compassion. The dedicated staff at MST made us feel like we were part of a caring family. Their smiles were an indication of their unwavering commitment to their patients.

Comprised of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Philips Medical Systems Netherlands, and Plux Bio Signals Portugal, we were warmly welcomed by Medical Physicist Dr. Barbel, who graciously guided us through this enlightening experience.

A Glimpse into Cutting-Edge Care, The Healthcare Nexus

MST Hospital is not just a place of healing; it’s a hub of innovation and collaboration. Our visit allowed us to glimpse the extraordinary work done here and the vital role that EMC plays in every aspect of healthcare delivery. From cutting-edge medical equipment to intricate communication systems, MST Hospital exemplified the harmonious coexistence of technology and patient well-being.

Our day began with a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities. Dr. Barbel led us through the hospital’s intricate web of clinical rooms and utilities. MST has some of the most advanced medical equipment and technology available. It was fascinating to witness the seamless fusion of innovation and human expertise in the pursuit of better patient care.

With each step, we delved deeper into the heart of healthcare operations. We explored different hospital rooms, from the bustling corridors of the emergency department to the serene environment of patient rooms. As we witnessed the hospital in action, we gained profound insights into its crucial functions and how it seamlessly integrates EMC principles to ensure the highest standards of patient care.

A Day of Reflection, a Lesson in Risk-Based EMC

Our visit to MST Hospital was a revelation, providing us with invaluable insights into risk-based EMC within the healthcare domain. We saw firsthand how meticulous planning and rigorous testing are essential to prevent EMI, ensuring that critical medical equipment operates without interference. This holistic approach to EMC safeguards both patient safety and the integrity of medical data.

Our visit to MST was not just a day of exploration but also a day of reflection. It reminded us of the incredible strength of the human spirit and the vital role hospitals play in our communities.

In the midst of challenges and uncertainties, hospitals like MST stand as beacons of hope and healing. Our visit was a powerful reminder of the dedication and compassion that define healthcare professionals and the profound impact they have on the lives they touch. Witnessing the incredible work being done to heal, nurture, and inspire was amazing. A hospital is a place where hope thrives, and healing is a daily miracle.

We left with a deep sense of gratitude for the tireless work done by those who walk the halls of MST every day.

A Heartfelt Thank You

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Barbel and her colleagues for generously sharing their time and expertise, making this visit to MST Hospital an unforgettable experience. We also express our deepest appreciation to Dr. Anne Roc’h for making this journey possible and bridging the worlds of academia, industry, and healthcare. Our sincerest thanks go out to the dedicated researchers of the ETERNITY project and my industry supervisor Rob Kleihorst (from Philips) for joining us on this enlightening adventure. It was truly a well-spent, remarkable day that has enriched our understanding of the critical role played by EMC in the realm of healthcare.

In the heart of MST Hospital, we discovered not only the application of electromagnetic compatibility in different clinical environments with different “shades of grey ” , but also the boundless compassion and dedication of those who serve in the name of healing.