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Measurement Science Review

The Journal of Institute of Measurement Science of Slovak Academy of Sciences

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Influence of Mobile Phones on the Quality of ECG Signal Acquired by Medical Devices

T. Buczkowski
  • Institute of Radioelectronics, Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Nowowiejska Str., 15/19, 00-665, Warsaw, Poland
  • :
/ D. Janusek
  • Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences, Ks. Trojdena Str., 4, 02-109, Warsaw, Poland
  • :
/ H. Zavala-Fernandez
  • Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences, Ks. Trojdena Str., 4, 02-109, Warsaw, Poland
/ M. Skrok
  • Institute of Radioelectronics, Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Nowowiejska Str., 15/19, 00-665, Warsaw, Poland
/ M. Kania
  • Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences, Ks. Trojdena Str., 4, 02-109, Warsaw, Poland
/ A. Liebert
  • Nalecz Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences, Ks. Trojdena Str., 4, 02-109, Warsaw, Poland
Published Online: 2013-11-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/msr-2013-0035


Health aspects of the use of radiating devices, like mobile phones, are still a public concern. Stand-alone electrocardiographic systems and those built-in, more sophisticated, medical devices have become a standard tool used in everyday medical practice. GSM mobile phones might be a potential source of electromagnetic interference (EMI) which may affect reliability of medical appliances. Risk of such event is particularly high in places remote from GSM base stations in which the signal received by GSM mobile phone is weak. In such locations an increase in power of transmitted radio signal is necessary to enhance quality of the communication. In consequence, the risk of interference of electronic devices increases because of the high level of EMI.

In the present paper the spatial, temporal, and spectral characteristics of the interference have been examined. The influence of GSM mobile phone on multilead ECG recordings was studied. It was observed that the electrocardiographic system was vulnerable to the interference generated by the GSM mobile phone working with maximum transmit power and in DTX mode when the device was placed in a distance shorter than 7.5 cm from the ECG electrode located on the surface of the chest. Negligible EMI was encountered at any longer distance.

Keywords: GSM mobile phone; electrocardiogram; electromagnetic interference

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Published Online: 2013-11-02

Published in Print: 2013-10-01

Citation Information: Measurement Science Review. Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 231–236, ISSN (Online) 1335-8871, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/msr-2013-0035, November 2013

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