Medtronics Brags on New Wireless ICD

Here's the story on Medtronic's new implantable cardioverter-defibrillator Concerto AT with wireless connectivity to both a programmer and gateway device. (Previous post here.) This seems like a pretty cool system – especially the remote monitoring application. Here's their blurb:

Conexus(TM) Wireless Telemetry: Utilizing the Medical Implant
Communication Service (MICS) radio frequency band, 402-405
MHz, Medtronic Conexus Telemetry enables communication between
the patient's implanted device and home monitor or clinician
programmer at a range of two to five meters (approximately six
to 16 feet). Communication between device and monitor can be
initiated by the physician based on programmed device
parameters, to occur at pre-scheduled dates and times, or
pre-programmed via the Medtronic CareLink Network. The MICS
band is a dedicated frequency designated by global
telecommunications regulatory authorities, such as the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, for
implantable medical device communication. Use of the MICS band
protects Medtronic wireless devices from interference caused
by cell phones and other common electronic devices.

Based on the highlighted portion above, it's clear that the person who wrote this press release is neither a Connectologist nor a reader of this site. By far the most common source of RF interference is spurious unintended RF noise from electrical devices rather than intentional transmitters operating in the same frequency band. This is as true in hospitals as it is in a patient's home. Devices operating in the MICS band are no more “protected” from RF interference than devices that use another ISM band (or any other frequency). One should also note that neither the FCC nor the FDA require implanted medical devices to use the MICS band.

[Hat tip: Connie]

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One comment

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