As most of us doctors in the field of heart rhythm disorders know, Guidant has been struggling to ressurrect itself from legal problems regarding disclosure of problems with implantable cardiac defibrillators. To reassure investors, a new wireless transmission system,
Well, wouldn't you know, the system has considerable interference issues with cell phones, electrical noise, and even some telemetry services in hospitals. Yet no patient or physician safety advisory has been issued. It would hurt sales.
To be fair, the problem does not cause reprogramming of the patient's device, but rather interruptions with the downloading of information from the patient's device.
But where's the reassurance to investors, doctors, hospitals, and most of all, patients when these issues are not disclosed?
Medtronic's wireless system for their Virtuoso and Concerto ICD and CRT-D product lines was developed under a special
For purposes of disclosure, I do serve on the speaking bureau for Medtronic, but hold no other financial positions with either company mentioned in this post.
Update: 18 May 2006: Seems there have been documented interference issues, particularly in hospitals, with a commercially-available Spectralink phone systems that use the same frequency band. It is routine for Guidant to "sweep" hospitals for such sources of interference before deploying the technology.