Navigation Links
Radio-Wave Devices May Play Havoc With Medical Equipment
Date:6/24/2008

In lab setting, they caused some machines to turn off, others to malfunction

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Those magic little devices that allow you to enter your hotel room or pay a toll electronically could interfere with the operation of critical medical equipment in a hospital.

In a laboratory setting not involving actual patients, Dutch scientists found that the radio frequency identification devices -- which are increasingly used in medicine -- caused potentially hazardous problems with some medical tools.

The findings were published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

However, the scope of the danger is not yet clear.

"This leaves us concerned, [but] we have to see if this pans out in a real intensive care unit," said Dr. Donald M. Berwick, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass., and author of an accompanying editorial. "These [devices] are brought in for a reason, and are doing things for the good. Just to shut them down would be overreacting. Let's get serious about finding out whether this is a replicable finding, and if it occurs in the presence of real patients. I believe food and drug administrations and manufacturers have a duty to investigate, and I'd say urgently."

The use of these devices is increasing in medical settings. For example, in respirators or IV pumps they help locate and keep track of inventory; they could also be used in drug blister packs to prevent counterfeiting or to ensure the quality of blood products.

"They're so tiny now that they can be put in surgical gauze pads, so at the end of the operation, the nurse can count up all pads and notice if one is missing and might have been left in the patient," Berwick said. "There are all sorts of applications in hospitals, and the devices are proliferating."

But there might be a dangerous downside to such sophisticated technology.

This study took place in a simulated, one-bed intensive-care unit at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. There were no patients involved, but there were 41 medical devices typically used in such a setting such as respirator machines, IV pumps, dialysis devices, defibrillators and external pacemaker devices.

Two radio frequency identification device systems, one active (with a battery and able to transmit information continuously) and one passive (powered by the electromagnetic field of the reader) were moved around the room while researchers assessed electromagnetic interference (EMI) on the medical devices.

In all, researchers conducted 123 EMI tests, and 34 EMI incidents were recorded: 22 were considered hazardous (for example, the turn-off of a mechanical ventilator or malfunction of external pacemakers), two as significant (an inaccurate blood pressure reading or alarm wrongly going off which might divert attention from the patient), and 10 as light ("snow" on the monitor, which didn't need attention).

The passive signal resulted in a higher number of total incidents (26 out of 41, or 63 percent), as well as more hazardous incidents (17).

All incidents occurred at a median distance of 11.8 inches between reader and device. For hazardous incidents, the median distance was 9.8 inches.

"This ought to teach us a lesson about technologies in medicine in general," Berwick said. "Anything new is going to introduce both good news and bad news. There will always be consequences. We have a love affair with technology, and that's a little bit dangerous if we're not keeping our eyes wide open. This is a good heads up."

More information

Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for more on health-care technology.



SOURCES: Donald M. Berwick, M.D., president and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Mass.; June 25, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tomorrows care today: Lumax 540 cardiac devices launched at Cardiostim
2. Johnson & Johnson Reviews Growth Strategies for Medical Devices & Diagnostics and Consumer Businesses
3. Johnson & Johnson to Host Medical Devices & Diagnostics and Consumer Business Review
4. New Guidelines Issued for Implanted Heart Devices
5. Boston Scientific Announces FDA Approval for New Devices to Treat Heart Failure and Sudden Cardiac Death
6. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut Introduces Industrys First Electronic Tool to Help Members Search In-Network Doctors and Hospitals; Transparency Tool to Enable Searches Via Web-Enabled Cell Phones or Hand-Held Devices
7. Penn study finds elderly heart patients with ICD devices live longer after heart failure
8. Improving survival rates among users of left ventricular assist devices
9. Philips Supports the Boston Marathon as the Sole Provider of Life-Saving Medical Devices
10. New Patient Monitoring Devices Handle More Than Just Vital Signs
11. New research for mechanical support devices in pediatrics to be released at ISHLT
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Radio-Wave Devices May Play Havoc With Medical Equipment 
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... This campaign aims to provide a path to improved education and awareness ... change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from a new or recurrent stoke each ... an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from stroke, it’s become our nation’s fifth-leading ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Aimed at nurses and employees in the health care ... leaders in the nursing and health care industry. It also provides insight to the ... University. , As the nursing industry is coming out of one of the ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger Co. Inc ., the maker of ... When Work Works Award for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business ... project administered by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... On Memorial Day, Hope For Heroes ... lives in military battle for the country. The nonprofit Hope For Heroes partnered ... programs that empower independence for disabled military veterans, as well as police, firemen, and ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global ... and global clinical supply services, today announced two key appointments and the opening ... and strategic growth plans in the Asia Pacific region. , Howard Kim has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ReportsnReports.com adds "Chronic Cough ... provides an overview on therapeutic pipeline of Chronic ... therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism of action ... along with latest updates, and featured news and ... in the therapeutic development for Chronic Cough and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016   ... primären Endpunkte und demonstriert Ebenbürtigkeit bei der ... ‚ausgezeichneter plus guter , Reinigung ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130829/633895-a ) , ... Daten von der MORA-Studie der Phase III für ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- ARANZ Medical  Ltd a specialist in ... been named the Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year ... Bruce Davey , CEO of ARANZ Medical says, "This ... to be recognised for the work we are doing to ... 35 countries around the world from Sub-Saharan Africa through to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: