With the dynamic evolution of wireless technology, Mayo Clinic researchers have been concerned about the potential effects of electromagnetic interference on heart pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. In the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers report they did not detect interference from personal digital assistants (PDAs).
The findings are important because wireless communication has grown and advanced quickly. Hospitals and clinics have installed wireless local area networks (WLAN), which enable users to establish a wireless network connection with computers or other data devices throughout a building or multiple buildings that have the necessary data infrastructure in place. The wireless capabilities allow physicians and other health care professionals immediate access to a variety of information when evaluating and treating patients. Patients also are carrying wireless devices and need to understand if there would be any adverse reactions to implantable cardiac devices.
David Hayes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic physician and lead researcher in the study, says researchers did not expect to find interference based on their past experiences with other devices they have tested.
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