Healthy & active through technology
Healthy & active through technology

Contact

DKE  German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE
Stresemannallee 15
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Germany

Phone: +49 69 6308-0
Fax: +49 69 6308-9863
E-Mail: dke@vde.com

Health

Health and technology are tightly interwoven, in particular where technology plays a crucial role in the success of prevention, diagnostics, treatment or rehabilitation. Health develops safety and service-related specifications to protect patients, staff and other affected parties. This includes all technical products to maintain, improve and restore health, including daily support assistance systems. In addition, protection against ionising radiation is also discussed.

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What are the objectives of norms and standards with respect to Health?

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Standardisation in the sector Health means setting safety and service-related specifications to protect patients, staff and private persons. This includes the development stage of health technologies and electronic devices in this field and spans to testing and certification.

The consistent objective is for technology and innovations to always benefit people, not the reverse.

Contact

Dr. Klaus Neuder
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Where are norms and standards applied at Health?

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Health technologies and related services are found in every area of everyday life, starting from so-called “wearables” like fitness trackers or pulse watches in the private sector to the topic of protecting patients and staff against radiation in the clinical environment. Wherever an electronic product is used to maintain, improve or restore health, there is also a starting point for standardisation work of Health.

The development of these products is clearly moving toward the progressive networking of everyday support assistance systems and the transition between health and comfort-related functions is becoming increasingly fluid. “Ambient Assisted Living” (AAL), which is designing an “intelligent” home environment which supports the individual to the greatest possible extent and is also largely capable of compensating for age and illness-related limitations, is becoming increasingly more important for individuals and business.

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How do we benefit from norms and standards at Health in everyday life?

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Everyone’s everyday life is different. For private persons, x-rays are usually the exception, however, for staff at a radiological practice they are the rule. As an athlete, someone might wear a fitness tracker, but as a patient, more likely an ECG, both of which are electrically operated devices that are electroconductively connected to the body.

Regardless of whether at the dermatologist or dentist, for aesthetic or therapeutic purposes, people have to be able to rely on the safety of light and laser sources. Standardisation work of Health is being done there and in any other areas to sensibly connect health, technology and progress in our everyday lives.

To get to the point: What do lasers have to do with your health?

Light and health are closely connected. In our everyday lives, we are almost constantly being exposed to a variety of artificial light sources. It starts with simple ceiling lamps to the displays on smartphones and televisions and, in some rare cases, may even extend to high-power lasers. While light can even promote well-being when used properly, incorrect use can have the exact opposite effect in the worst case scenario. The consequences span from harmless, temporary phenomena such as glare or even severe, chronic damage to the eyes and skin.

In the medical and cosmetic sectors, one faces the special challenge that, on the one hand, (laser) light sources have to be intense enough for certain applications in order to modify tissue (e.g. including selective destruction!) and, on the other hand, patients and staff or other persons shouldn’t be exposed to the risk of unintended injury.

In cooperation with the DKE Work Group 812.0.1 “Lasers in Medicine”, the DKE Joint Committee 841 “Optical Radiation Safety and Laser Devices” is doing the necessary standardisation work so artificial light and laser sources in all areas of life are safe and controllable and benefit people.

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Where are norms and standards applied in the field of optical radiation safety and laser devices?

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Artificial light sources and lasers have become an integral part of our everyday lives and are no longer just used for lighting purposes. Displays on smartphones, laser diodes in Blu-Ray players, brake lights on cars are all examples of artificial light sources that are not primarily used for lighting.

There is also a wide range and variety of therapeutic and cosmetic applications of light, for instance, ocular lens operations using lasers, hardening plastic fillings at the dentist or removing a tattoo at the dermatologist.

Anywhere an artificial light source generates (laser) light, there is a starting point for the standardisation work of the DKE Joint Committee 841 with the “Standards Committee Optics and Precision Mechanics” (NaFuO) in the DIN and DKE Work Group 812.0.1 “Lasers in Medicine”.