What’s changing about requirements for audio components in a medical setting?

<strong>What’s changing about requirements for audio components in a medical setting?</strong>

When it needs to be heard in a medical setting, it needs to be clear, concise and easy to determine what sounds are indicating to providers and patients. Especially when multiple devices are sending out codes at the same time, the difference between a legible and illegible sound can mean the difference between patients getting the treatment and care they need or missing out–and sometimes, even life or death. 

With the increased use of medical electronics in medicine today, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) developed the IEC 60601-1-8 standard to regulate alarm signals to prevent confusion, when several instruments are sounding at the sametime in the same room.

While the IEC 60601-1-8 standard covers every aspect of the alarm signals and should be referred to as the ultimate reference with regards to the specific tones to use in your device, there are three main requirements that pertain to speaker selection:

  • A pulsed frequency between 150 Hz and 1 kHz
  • At a minimum of four harmonics of the pulsed frequency between 300 Hz and 4 kHz
  • The sound pressure level (SPL) of the harmonics must be within ±15 dB of the pulsed frequency

Additional pulse requirements—such as pulse duration, rise time, and fall time—are also part of this standard, but pertain more to the input signal sent to the speaker.

PUI Audio has developed a resource for engineers to help determine what products will aid in meeting the guidelines and adding clarity to the patient experience. 

From our testing, we can deduce the characteristics of a speaker that makes it an ideal  candidate to use within a Medical Device that needs to meet the criteria set forth by IEC 60601-1-8.

We’ve also included Steps to selecting the ideal speaker for your application and Speaker Integration Best Practices and Recommended Speakers.

You can download the whitepaper for free and read it here.

Our engineering team is eager to work on developing new solutions and continuing to push the envelope. Curious to learn more? Ready to kick off a brainstorming session about your audio needs in the manufacturing industry? Reach out! Ask an engineer or chat with us. We are here to help.  

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