Print 25 comment(s) - last by HVAC.. on Aug 12 at 1:19 PM

Pacemaker communicates wirelessly with monitoring service

For people with potentially fatal heart conditions, a pacemaker and their physician are the only things that stand between them and certain death. The problem for some is that even with a pacemaker their conditions are so severe that they can still have problems leading a normal life.

A woman in New York has become the first person in the world to receive a pacemaker that can communicate wirelessly with a remote monitoring service that her physician can access. The pacemaker connects with the server once per day and will alert the patient and the doctor if there is an issue that could compromise the patient's health.

Carol Kasyjanski has had a serious heart condition for over 20 years and she says that the new device has given her more confidence because only immediate help could save her life if the pacemaker stops working.

The woman had problems with her pacemaker years ago that routine tests could not find because it only surfaced when she passed out. She said, "Years ago the problem was with my lead, it was nicked, and until I collapsed no one knew what the problem was, no tests would show what the problem was until I passed out."

With the wireless pacemaker contacting the server at least once per day, problems like this are much easier to find and treat before they can become life threatening.

Dr. Steven Greenberg from St. Francis' Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center said, "If there is anything abnormal, and we have a very intricate system set up, it will literally call the physician responsible at two in the morning if need be."

Using the wireless pacemaker allows about 90% of the routine work during an office visit to be completed before the patient arrives, allowing the doctor more time to focus on the patient rather than ordering and getting tests done.

Pacemaker technology has come a long way in the last few years; in 2006 a pacemaker was developed that needed no battery to operate.

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No mention..
By spartan014 on 8/10/2009 11:30:17 AM , Rating: 2
how this device connects to the remote server?

Maybe the pace maker wirelssly communicates with a wired base station of sorts...

RE: No mention..
By MDE on 8/10/2009 11:43:52 AM , Rating: 3
I think the main point is that she doesn't have to be opened up surgically or have wires hanging out of her body to read data from the pacemaker.

RE: No mention..
By FITCamaro on 8/10/2009 11:51:28 AM , Rating: 5
Oh cmon. If you have the wires, every time they hook them up you can be like "We can rebuild him.....we have the technology...."

How cool would that be? :)

RE: No mention..
By Flail on 8/10/2009 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 5
except it would cost six million dollars.

RE: No mention..
By Omega215D on 8/10/2009 3:46:27 PM , Rating: 5
Those are 1970's dollars, you have to account for inflation...

RE: No mention..
By HVAC on 8/12/2009 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, no, no. It is still 6 million dollars. The 70s money was invested in real estate in Detroit, production was outsourced to China, and support is via call centers in India, so ....

RE: No mention..
By sigmatau on 8/10/2009 12:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to be opened up for your pacemaker to be read. A device placed on the chest does that for millions of patients today. Some patients that live in rural areas can hook themselves up, connect it to a phone and have a remote diagnostic done. The only time you are opened up is every 10 years or so to replace the battery.

The only benefit from this that I can see is possible more readings and even real time reports/alerts. Now that is actually a huge benefit as this could keep an eye on you better than any over worked nurse.

RE: No mention..
By MrBlastman on 8/10/2009 12:05:34 PM , Rating: 1
It is certainly better than having to wear a holter monitor periodically for 24-hours and then go back in to have it analyzed.

Nifty technology. I wonder how much extra power consumption is involved with the additional technology. Is her pacemaker "human-powered?"

RE: No mention..
By Samus on 8/10/2009 11:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
hopefully it can't be shut down wirelessly when it gets hacked :\

RE: No mention..
By MrBlastman on 8/10/2009 11:54:19 AM , Rating: 5
You'd have to be heartless to hack that thing.

RE: No mention..
By chick0n on 8/10/2009 1:25:43 PM , Rating: 1
There are people with the knowledge doing heartless things everyday.

So I wouldn't be surprised if one day someone said he hacked the whole system and threaten the authorities that he will "press that button" if they dont pay him 100 mill in 4 hours.

RE: No mention..
By MrBlastman on 8/10/2009 1:59:06 PM , Rating: 5
And it went... right over his head! Whoooosh!

RE: No mention..
By Alexvrb on 8/10/2009 6:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's a bird! It's a plane! No wait, its the newest Champions Online beta character, Captain Oblivious!

RE: No mention..
By Regs on 8/10/2009 4:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
The Happening II.

In the once quite state of Florida something goes "shockingly" wrong.

Coming Summer 2010 after GI.Joe 2

RE: No mention..
By AbsShek on 8/11/2009 8:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
The Dahlek won't have a problem with that...

RE: No mention..
By HVAC on 8/12/2009 1:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exterminate ... ex-ter-min-ATE!

Minor correction
By Alexvrb on 8/10/2009 6:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Using the wireless pacemaker allows about 90% of the routine work during an office visit to be completed before the patient arrives, allowing the doctor and/or nurse practitioner to see more patients in the same amount of time, rather than actually spending the time saved with the patient.

There I fixed that for you.

RE: Minor correction
By Boze on 8/10/2009 11:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
With the shortage of physicians overall in this nation, and especially the precipitous shortage of primary care physicians, you should be very thankful of that.

And if Obama's ambitious health care plan goes into place and 46 million more Americans get health insurance, its going to overwhelm what few primary care physicians are still in practice around the country.

If you think a 1 to 2 hour wait in the waiting room and then a 15 to 60 minute wait in the examination room are bad, wait until another 46 million Americans need to go to the doctor. You can tack on at least another hour to those times.

So in theory, you should be thanking anyone, anywhere, who can develop anything that allows a doctor to see and treat more patients.

RE: Minor correction
By MrPoletski on 8/11/2009 6:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
So you spend an hour extra sitting in your chair reading magazines instead of an extra hour extra trying to get the insurance company to pay up and filling out endless forms and stuff.

I think the funniest thing in the whole debate was recently some right wing editorial tried to make out that under the British health system, Stephen Hawking would have been deemed unproductive to society and layed to waste instead of given treatment for his motor neurone disease.

The ignorance is astounding!

slightly misleading
By rodrigu3 on 8/10/2009 11:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I wonder how this affects the battery life of the pacemaker, since connecting several times a day may use up more battery life.

RE: slightly misleading
By putergeek00 on 8/10/2009 12:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hope it's not like my cell phone with only an analog signal.

Battery is gone within hours. :)

That's all we need....
By rtrski on 8/10/2009 1:46:06 PM , Rating: 4
...that damn Verizon geek shoved down in our insides, grabbing our ribs like the bars of a cage and screaming through them "Can you hear me now?????"

And God forbid be brings his whole 'network' gang with him.

By imaheadcase on 8/10/2009 10:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
Most pacemakers are wireless to begin with, have been for over 5+ years now.

My mom has one, all she has to do is go into doctors office and they adjust the timing on it and check it out all wireless.

When did wireless get so confusing to

Wireless vs current tech
By cooldadd on 8/11/2009 12:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
My understanding (from situation of my next-door neighbor and former co-worker) is that current technology is for the pacemaker to be placed near the surface with a (magnetic?) transducer and have a wired lead to the heart for a "jolt" when/if required. It sounds like the point of this is to eliminate the wire lead which (as I understand it) over time can be a failure point.

By Nobleman00 on 8/11/2009 7:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
...and only AT&T has it.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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