International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

March 2011


Wired health

Safely connecting medical devices through IECQ

Life has probably changed more in the first decade of the 21st century than ever before. From local to global applies not only to industry, but also to individuals. Instant connection to the entire world has become a reality. The multiplications of electronic devices and systems we rely on at home, at work and on vacation have deeply modified our behaviours and perceptions, opened up new horizons. The medical world is no exception.

High-tech medicine…

Technological developments have profoundly altered the practice of medicine. From the simplest to the most complex, medical devices increasingly rely on electronics. From the digital thermometer and blood pressure kit used at home to tele- and micro-surgery and ITC (information and telecommunication) health-care networks, the possibilities are infinite.

…inside and outside

The use of electronics has become very common in artificial limbs. Myoelectric limbs, which control the limbs by converting muscle movements to electrical signals, have become much more common than cable operated limbs. Computers are also used extensively in the design and manufacturing of limbs.


Tele-surgery, or remote surgery, allows a doctor to perform surgery on a patient even though they are not physically in the same location. It combines elements of robotics, state-of-the-art communication technology such as high-speed data connections, and elements of management information systems.

IECQ makes it safe and reliable

While safety, reliability and performance are important for all electronic devices, equipment and systems, they are crucial in the medical sector because lives are at stake. It is therefore essential that only high-quality components are used in the manufacturing of these devices.


There is an easy way – not only for manufacturers and suppliers of electronic equipment, but also for medical practices and hospitals – to make sure the devices and equipment they acquire contain safe, reliable and high-quality electronic components. The way is IECQ certification.


As a worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards.


The wide range of electronic components covered by IECQ is used in all kinds of technologies, from the smallest device to the very complex equipment.


More information on IECQ and its Schemes at


  • Digital thermometer
  • Electronic prosthetic hand
  • Tele-surgery experiments at Nagoya Institute of Technology



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