An Approach to Evaluate Electromagnetic Interference with a Wearable ECG at Frequencies below 1MHz

Wei LIAO  Jingjing SHI  Jianqing WANG  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B   No.8   pp.1606-1613
Publication Date: 2015/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.1606
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Electromagnetic Compatibility(EMC)
Keyword: 
electromagnetic interference (EMI),  wearable electrocardiogram (ECG),  sensing electrode,  common mode voltage,  differential mode voltage,  quasi-static approximation,  

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Summary: 
In this study, we propose a two-step approach to evaluate electromagnetic interference (EMI) with a wearable vital signal sensor. The two-step approach combines a quasi-static electromagnetic (EM) field analysis and an electric circuit analysis, and is applied to the EMI evaluation at frequencies below 1 MHz for our developed wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) to demonstrate its usefulness. The quasi-static EM field analysis gives the common mode voltage coupled from the incident EM field at the ECG sensing electrodes, and the electric circuit analysis quantifies a differential mode voltage at the differential amplifier output of the ECG detection circuit. The differential mode voltage has been shown to come from a conversion from the common mode voltage due to an imbalance between the contact impedances of the two sensing electrodes. When the contact impedance is resistive, the induced differential mode voltage increases with frequency up to 100kHz, and keeps constant after 100kHz, i.e., exhibits a high pass filter characteristic. While when the contact impedance is capacitive, the differential mode voltage exhibits a band pass filter characteristic with the maximum at frequency of around 150kHz. The differential voltage may achieve nearly 1V at the differential amplifier output for an imbalance of 30% under 10V/m plane-wave incident electric field, and completely mask the ECG signal. It is essential to reduce the imbalance as much as possible so as to prevent a significant interference voltage in the amplified ECG signal.