Here are Phonak’s comments about using the Icom w/ pacemakers:
[FONT=Arial]The question - Can my patient use an iCom/iCube if he/she has a pacemaker?[/FONT] [FONT=Arial][B]The answer – Persons using medical devices such as pacemakers are not permitted to use these devices. [/FONT][/B]
[FONT=Arial]You may reference the page in the iCom enduser guide (page 53), and the iCube guide (page 35) in your answers to accounts who ask for information. These guides ship with every iCom/iCube. [/FONT]
Well, that’s just great. I wonder if I should worry about talking on the iCom while standing next to someone who may or may not have a pacemaker installed?! Presumably it’s just the proximity of the iCom laying on the chest next the pacemaker that’s the issue.
I am trialing both the Oticon epoq with the streamer, and the
Phonak Smart with the I-com.
I called Medtronics, the maker of my pacemaker for their opinion,
all they would tell me is that the streamer/I-com should be at least
six inches from my pacemaker. This also includes the antenna, which
makes the I-com not usable because it will not work without the antenna
being attached. I have found the streamer works without the cord, and
can be hand held while using.
The electrical radiation that is emitted by either device is so small, I
doubt there would be any interference , but neither Medtronic or the
HA companies will so state.
It’s not really an actual interference issue as the broadcast function from a normal mobile phone shouldn’t kill a pacemaker: what both companies/professionals are advising is based on what the Lawyers will tell them. In this instance there’s a risk of combined culpability (your local legislature may call it something else), basically IF the pacemaker failed and the wearer was shown to have worn a Body Area Network device, then the pacemaker manufacturer has a get out.
Worse still, even if neither device failed, acted improperly or interfered with the other device, but the person had ‘just died’ through some form of heart failure: what is to stop the estate litigating against both manufacturers to make a claim? It would be almost impossible to prove that nothing had actually ocurred.
In every case, it makes sense to suggest the devices stay apart - if the wearer then decides to ignore this advice, it is at their own risk and there is no case to answer. Especially if the professionals/companies have done ‘everything reasonably possible’ to highlight the risk.
Apologies for the ‘bar-room lawyer’ eplanantion, but this is how it was described to me by a proper lawyer a few years ago.