WiFi and Pacemakers

Earlier this year, one of the reports at the American Hearth Association meeting dealt with the effect of WiFi on pacemakers. Dr. Fritz Mellert of the University of Bonn:

. . . placed 25 pacemakers and 22 implantable cardioverter defibrillators made by all of the major device manufacturers at varying distances from wireless local area network (WLAN) transmitting antennas in order to study the potential for electromagnetic interference with device function. He subjected the cardiac devices to WLAN transmitting powers of both 100 mW, the upper limit in Europe, and 1,000 mW, the maximum output power permitted by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

He determined that there was no evidence of interference with all key programming and telemetry functions.¬† There was one caveat — some non-critical functions showed interference when the pacemaker was within 10cm of a high output access point.

[from WebJunction Wireless]

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One response to “WiFi and Pacemakers

  1. Donald J. LeVine, P.E. September 14, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I am interested in the experience of those with ICDs or implanted pacemekers when in the vicinity of large groups of operating PCs, as in a computer training class or retail store with operating computers on display.
    My interest is based on some complaints from teachers with implanted pacemkers that entering a classroom with many operating computers adversely effected their pacemakers.
    The complainents were elementary school teachers with no significant technical training so their complaints were very general and not quantitative.
    I am a member of a group populated by many persons with implanted devices which stimulated my interest personally and professionally (as a Electrical Engineer).

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