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Pacemakers OK with wireless technology

Posted - Dec. 22, 2004 at 2:40 p.m.



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ROCHESTER, Minn., Dec 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Mayo Clinic researchers have determined there is little risk for people with pacemakers exposed to wireless communications technology.

"When new devices are used near a patient with a life-sustaining implantable device, there is a potential of electromagnetic interference, and assessment of potential interactions is critical," said Dr. David Hayes, a Mayo Clinic physician and lead researcher in the study.

In the study, testing was conducted between March 6 and July 30, 2003, using devices outside of the body. The cardiac devices were exposed to an HP Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC personal digital assistant fitted with a Cisco Aironet WLAN card.

The findings, released Wednesday, are important because wireless communication has grown and hospitals and clinics have installed wireless local area networks, which enable users to establish a wireless network connection with computers or other data devices throughout a building.

The wireless capabilities allow physicians and healthcare professionals immediate access to a variety of information when evaluating and treating patients.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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