helps to define the role of information technology standards in the industry.43

Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). AAMI is a voluntary membership organization of about 5,000 health care professionals from industry, health care facilities, academia, research centers, and government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).44 AAMI works to advance patient care and medical technology through certification of biomedical engineers, education, technical publications, and development of medical device standards. AAMI is active in the development of international standards through sponsorship and representation on ISO and IEC committees and U.S. and ISO technical advisory groups (TAGs). It also maintains relationships with European counterpart organizations involved in standards development.45 In 1994, AAMI became the international secretariat for a new ISO committee developing standards for quality management systems in the health care equipment industry.

Membership Organizations Unlike industry associations and professional societies, standards-developing membership organizations have standards development as their central activity and mission. They do not limit their membership to an industry or profession, and they tend to have the most diverse membership among all SDOs. Their procedures tend to have the strictest due process requirements. Publishing and selling standards documentation accounts for the majority of their revenues. Membership fees are generally relatively low, facilitating participation by individuals not sponsored by an employer.

American Society for Testing and Materials. Established in 1898, ASTM is one of the world's largest voluntary consensus SDOs. It has an international membership of more than 35,000 and maintains 132 technical standards-writing committees. ASTM publishes standard test methods, specifications, practices, guides, classifications, and terminology for materials, products, systems, and services. Approximately 33 percent of ASTM's sales of standards are to international users, and many of its standards become de facto international standards. It produces an annual 70-volume set of more than 9,000 ASTM standards that are used worldwide.46

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA was established in 1896 in response to the need for uniform installation of sprinkler systems. NFPA publishes 280 specific fire safety standards.47 NFPA is an independent, nonprofit, voluntary membership organization with an international membership of more than 60,000 individuals and 115 national trade and professional societies. It maintains some 235 consensus

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